CASTIEL--

Castiel still wasn't quite sure what had possessed him to offer to bring Donna here, of all places. Still, at least he could be reasonably sure there wasn't anything here that was a threat to her – to either of them. Well, unless he wanted to count the demon who owned and operated the place, of course. He had a grudging respect for Jacob, and found he didn't really consider him an immediate threat.


Pushing open the door, he held it to allow Donna to get in out of the cold before following behind her. “The Salt Lick, home of fresh pork rinds, good beer, and a comfortable atmosphere...if you can dismiss the demon lurking around,” Cas said, leaning close so he wasn't overheard by anyone else. Despite the mention of a demon – something that <i>should</i> be cause for concern in their world – he offered Donna a brief smile. “They serve a good local brew Dean recommended.” He didn't even bother to clarify that Dean had never been in the bar, they all would have known if he had been, because Jacob might well no longer be here at all.


He ushered her over to a table set against a wall, the same table he'd sat at the last time he'd been in. He liked it purely because it offered a clear view of nearly the entire bar, and it offered one less direction to guard, with the wall to his back. After all, he might respect Jacob, but it didn't mean he trusted him.


Mindful of hasty lessons on etiquette he'd gotten from Sam over the phone earlier in the day on the proper conduct when bringing a woman to a public establishment, Cas pulled out a chair and held it for Donna. He would push it in carefully when she sat, then take a seat across from her. “What do you think?”


DONNA--

Cas had taken her up on her offer to celebrate the twins’ homecoming – so to speak; she actually got dressed up and felt cute! Even though she was going out with an Angel and it wasn’t a date, and… dammit, she is going to look good – it was better than her cop uniform. Also she had lost a couple pounds, granted, it was the same couple pounds she had been battling with for the last month.

“Do I look skinnier?” She had asked Cas with a twirl at the door, he had given her a befuddled look – nodding only when he saw Jody nod with emphasis. That had been a good answer! The drive in his car wasn’t horribly long, which was fine, Cas wasn’t one for small talk, and she was already talking his ear off about the preparations underway for the twins.

When they parked, she followed him, stepping into the bar with a curious glance around, “it’s…” She crinkled her nose with a tilt of her head, “cute.” She looked around for the demon as she settled in her seat, it was nice to be out of the cabin. “This is the place, huh?” She looked at him, crinkling her nose again, “I feel like celebrating with a big old margarita! Fruity!” She clapped her hands, “ooh, can we have one with the umbrellas? Do they do the ones with the bucket?” She paused, flattening her lips, “I talk too much.”


JACOB--

I felt him in the vicinity before he even arrived, now attuned to the Angel, a short head's up that I will be having company, though he's not alone and by the way he's acting he seems to be on a date with that woman. I do not want to know, of all the places he could have taken her, this bar is hardly the most romantic.

I walk over to their table and I have eyes only for Donna. "Well now, aren't you the ray of sunshine to brighten up this dingy establishment." I give her my most charming smile, even though I have no illusions that Castiel wouldn't have told her what I was. It's only then that I look at the Angel and raise a brow. "What can I get you fine folks tonight?"


CASTIEL--

Cute,” he repeated, chuckling. “I believe it leans toward...'rustic.' This <i>is</i> the place.” Just as she'd done, he let his eyes drift around the room, looking for either Jacob or Renard. He was surprised to note that the room was nearly empty of patrons on this particular night. He didn't immediately spot Renard, but there was Jacob, as though he'd been waiting for them.


Cas blinked, turning his full attention back to Donna as Jacob approached their table. “I'm not familiar with a...margarita,” he said, saying the unfamiliar word carefully, exactly as she did. “But if you want one, I'm sure something can be done about it.” His lips quirking fondly, he reached across the table and laid his hand over hers. “I don't believe you talk too much. You're,” he hesitated, searching for a suitably pleasing word, “passionate about life. It's not a bad thing.”


He patted her hand once or twice, then pulled his away, though the fond smile remained in place. “This...margarita. It tastes of fruit? I think I would like to try that.” What it tasted like really didn't make a lot of difference to him. For the most part, he tasted food and drink down to their component molecules, and he only indulged to fit in better with the humans he'd surrounded himself with. Still, there were a few things that sat pleasantly on his tongue, the molecules arranging in such a way as to be enjoyable. Coffee, green tea, some few beers, and, oddly, many fruits were among the things he tended to gravitate toward when he had the option.


He said nothing, at first, as Jacob spoke to Donna. While he was ready to defend her, should it become necessary, he trusted that she was capable of holding her own against Jacob's attentions. She might be female, but Castiel, unlike so many humans he'd observed, mistook female for fragile or incapable.


Jacob, this is Donna. Donna, this is Jacob, the...owner.” Despite the nearly empty room, he wasn't going to say the word 'demon' again aloud, but he did look at her pointedly before turning his attention back to Jacob.


DONNA--

Passionate about life, Donna liked how he said that; she couldn’t help it, life was good when you could look on the bright side. She shrugged with a smile, “that’s me!” A bob of her head as she studied him, an amused little look flitting across her face – she wasn’t laughing at him, she just forgot sometimes how much he didn’t know about things. She would have to teach him. “Which fruit do you like? I’m sure I can have them whip up something.” Her eyes flicked away, then back to him, “it has tequila, and… some fruity stuff to make it fruity.”

When Jacob came over, Donna waved, “hi!” Her eyes flicked over to Castiel, she gave him a look to make sure he said some sort of greeting too. She looked back at Jacob and giggled at his words, “that’s me. All Sunshine and passionate about life!” She looked to Castiel again, a confused quirk of her eyebrows before her face showed understanding.

“Aren’t you special?” She grinned at Jacob, “we want two big things of margaritas.” She made a gesture of how big. “Oh! And some umbrellas, please.” She looked at Castiel, “oh, we might need food. Is the kitchen open?” She paused, “do you have a kitchen?” Another pause, “you know what? Pork rinds will do, you don’t need to go to all the trouble.”


JACOB--

I capture one of Donna's hands as she waves them around like some frantic hairless monkey and bring it to my lips. "As a friend of Castiel, you may have anything you wish." My eyes narrow a bit and I smile before releasing her, no point riling up the Angel by making a move on his female. "Margaritas and something special, just for you two. The place will be empty enough soon, so enjoy yourselves." I give Cas a smirk before heading back to the bar and then into the kitchen. One thing about being a Crossroads Demon, you have 'friends' all over the world. Soon enough and maybe too soon for even a real restaurant I return with a large tray, two large margaritas with fruit and umbrellas and a few other containers including sizzling fajitas with all the fixings. Maybe I went overboard, but I'm looking to impress, just a little bit. "Enjoy.." Oh and the fact that Cas' drink is fizzed up to knock even an discerning alcoholic like Crowley on his ass is a non-issue. I couldn't resist.


CASTIEL--

He opened his mouth, then closed it again, having never considered that different fruits all had different flavours to humans. Fruit had been something he'd not been able to afford during his time as a human, after all. For him, fruit was merely a collection of molecules he'd learned to call simply 'sweet.'


Castiel's suspicions were raised at Jacob's casual smirk, but he said nothing. There was no point in worrying Donna. This was supposed to be a celebration, and he didn't want anything to ruin it for her. Especially not after she'd been kind enough to include him in it. Besides, Jacob had as much riding on their deal as he did, and he didn't think the demon would risk Renard just to harm Donna in some way. Still, his eyes followed the demon as he disappeared into the kitchen, his expression thoughtful.


He reached out to pat Donna's hand again, trying to reassure her, though he wasn't even sure she'd caught the smirk the demon had flashed as he'd left. “See, he'll bring the margaritas, and we can celebrate just as you wished.” He made sure to pull a smile back onto his lips for her, something that wasn't particularly hard to do around her. Her enthusiasm, while often perplexing, was also something that spread easily to him, in his own quiet way.


When Jacob returned, Cas looked up at him, not even trying to hide the suspicion he knew burned in his eyes. But, again, with Donna there he chose to say nothing about it. “Thank you, Jacob. We appreciate you going to so much trouble,” the angel said, his attention diverted to the food and drink burdening the tray.


DONNA--

When Jacob kissed her hand, Donna blushed madly, a silly little smile darting across her lips before she giggled. “Thank you!” She put her hand on the table, amused little look as she watched Jacob leave, “are all,” she leaned in and whispered, “demons,” before leaning back, “like that? Because, boy howdy.” She woofed a bit under her breath before she settled into her seat.

“Yes! We’ll celebrate!” She knew better than saying why they were celebrating, Castiel had said the babies would be in danger for the majority of their lives. She crinkled her nose, “I can’t wait!” She pointed to the margaritas on Jacob’s tray, “that is celebration. Dean taught you this, right?” Of course the big lug taught him! She hoped.

She gasped at Jacob, “you didn’t have to go to so much trouble for us!” She pointed to the chairs, “do you want to sit with us?” Her eyes flicked to Castiel, “or…. Uh…” She waited until he handed her a margarita, “you might not want to sit here and listen to us!” She smiled as she took a sip of her drink, “oh… mmmmm. Try yours, An—Castiel.”


JACOB--

"No trouble at all, there is a little place down in New Mexico that I enjoy, I take my son there for his birthday every year." So yes, I did teleport. "I should get back, still have customers, please enjoy" with that I leave them be to return to my post keeping an eye on them from the bar.


CASTIEL--

Ah, of course, Jacob had teleported. Well, Cas decided, that probably explained the smirk. He relaxed – a bit – and nodded to the demon. “Thank you,” Cas said again, sincerely..and with a touch of gratitude that he hadn't taken Donna up on her offer to join them. While the demon could be interesting company when he was of a mood for it, he didn't want Jacob around for this particular celebration.


Castiel had hesitated in answering Donna's questions until Jacob had come and gone, just in case. He considered, then shook his head slowly. “No, most are nothing like that at all. In my life I've encountered very few that I didn't want to smite on sight.” Namely, Meg...who had been on his mind distressingly often of late. Leaving her to die like that.. Well, he could add it to his long list of sins he hoped to someday atone for. But, he thought, now was not the time for such thoughts. Donna wanted to celebrate, so that is exactly what they would do.


The angel indulged Donna, taking a sip of the impressively large drink, his eyes widening almost comically. “This... This is <i>very</i> sweet. I like this.” He didn't hesitate in taking another, longer drink of the margarita. “Yes, this is very pleasant.” He offered Donna a smile, absently playing with the little paper umbrella sticking out of it. “Dean has celebrated with alcohol before, but he never told me there was any that could be so....sweet.”


DONNA--

Donna didn’t understand the remark about New Mexico, but had made a mental note to ask about his son at a different time. “Thank you,” she smiled brightly at Jacob before taking another sip, a longer one this time. She closed her eyes to relish the taste, it was amazing! She should come here and drink more often, she wasn’t much for drinking – thus the fruity drinks.

She opened her eyes and crinkled her nose, “Claire told me some are downright horrible.” She shook her head, it was hard to believe there were such horrible things in the world. That’s why she was doing what she did with the Academy, so more people understood and were able to protect themselves. It had been near disastrous for her when she first encountered a monster.

Her eyes flicked over to him, a giggle came from her lips. “I told you it was good!” She pulled out her umbrella and stuck it behind her ear. “Dean is the kinda man that would say these are girl drinks.” She snorted, “like a man!” Another sip, her teeth were starting to buzz a little. “Whoo boy, he put a good kick in mine. How about yours?” A soft giggle, “so, do you…” She squinted as she tried to think of a code word for Angels, and failing, “uhhh… you know…” She gestured futilely with a hand, “you have a girlfriend?” A pause, “or a boyfriend. I’m not judging.”


CASTIEL--

Taking another long drink from his sweet, fruity margarita, her comment about Dean struck him as terribly amusing, a slightly lopsided smile blooming out over his lips and crinkling his eyes a bit. “Dean Winchester has a lot of opinions that I don't agree with.” He nodded slowly in agreement with his own statement. “He has far too many rules, and he's always telling me to remember them. As if he'd give me a chance to forget.” He huffed softly.


He'd waved off her mention of 'kick' in her drink – and in his. It would take far more than one drink to truly have any effect on him. “No, no. This is one drink. I once drank an entire liquor store. Sam didn't seem to like it. He was so annoying on the message he left.” He was, of course, rambling, but he didn't seem to realize he was.


A blink and a tilting of his head followed her inquiry. “I have you and Jody, and Sam and Dean... Oh.” His eyes widened, but he took another long drink before continuing. “You mean romantic or sexual partners. I... No. I have my friends...my family. There was someone, once.” He grew pensive, almost sad, his gravelly voice softening a bit. “But nothing could ever have come of it. It would have been unwise. And I...wasn't myself at the time.”


He shook his head, taking another long drink. The sweet flavour exploded across his tongue, making him forget the memories that had threatened, briefly, to drown him. “This drink is really very good, Donna. The molecules combine just so wonderfully.” He positively grinned at her, leaning closer. “Did you know angels taste the very molecules?”


DONNA--

Donna laughed, “Dean has rules?” She squinted, “who made him law?” She huffed and grinned at him, “we make our own rules around here!” She raised her glass, “what do you think?” There was already a slight careful over-enunciation, as if she was trying to appear like the drink wasn’t doing anything. Her teeth were buzzing like crazy, she felt all floaty inside.

“A whole liquor store? Shut the front door! That must’ve been expensive!” Her jaw dropped, she drank some more of her drink before settling in, “Sam is annoying. He’s a puppy dog annoying, but….” She put her drink down and held her hands up, “you just wanna squish his face in your hands and do this –“ Donna squealed, “Who’s a good little boy?! Who is? You are. You arrrre.”

She stopped, grinning at him before she nodded, “yeah, I’ve had some of those kinda-sortas that just…” She made an explosion with her hands, rolling her shoulders before she looked over at him again. She didn’t want to talk about Doug again, not ever.

“Molecules?” She let him distract her, she peered in her drink, “nobody told me there were molecules in my Margarita. We should make that… What was his name? That guy make us new ones.”


CASTIEL--

Castiel laughed, just flat out full on laughed. “We make our own rules! The new Team Free Will,” he added, the laugh turning into a huff that still could have been a laugh, but that managed to somehow carry a note of old sorrow in the sound.


He waved off the mention of expense, a flush rising in his cheeks. He, of course, had never paid anything. He'd broken into the closed store and...indulged. Hey, it was the apocalypse, sometimes even he'd needed help dealing with it. He leaned closer to Donna across the table, squinting at her. “I love Sam, Donna. I do. I love Sam. I love Dean. But...you're right. You're...right.” He nodded solemnly.


He nodded in understanding to Donna, though he'd really only ever had one...'kinda-sorta' as she called it. Then he waves a hand absently, not wanting to think about Meg just now. He'd done his penance recently, and he wanted to forget that particular pain that just didn't want to fade. “Tonight is for celebrating, not mourning,” he muttered, not even realizing he'd said it aloud.


“Molecules,” he repeated, nodding enthusiastically, eyes going wide. “Everything is molecules, Donna. Everything. And I can taste each one. All angels can...do...sometimes even when I just want the flavour.” He paused, a comically mournful look crossing his face. “I miss the taste of peanut butter. And jelly. Grape jelly. Not jam, jam is unsettling. But PB&J....I liked it when I was human. I miss the taste.”


He blinked, peering closely at her for a few moments, then looking down into his glass, surprised to find it nearly empty. Now when had that happened? “Jacob. The...demon...guy. Yes.” He looked to be considering this idea carefully, as though it were the most important thing on earth at that particular moment. “That sounds like a really good idea. But...maybe he's...busy?”


He looked up, searching the room. Only then did he realize it had cleared out entirely. They were the only two customers left in the place. He'd never even noticed anyone leaving. That realization bothered him, but only briefly. He couldn't really remember why keeping track of humans he didn't even know mattered that much. “Got enough trouble with keeping track of the humans I do know,” he muttered, again without realizing he'd spoken aloud.


“Um,” he said, a new thought striking him. “Donna? Are we....drunk?” His eyes squinted up and he tilted his head, fighting with the fuzziness in his mind to figure out this very important question.


DONNA--

Team Free Will. We’re making t-shirts! Mark my words!” She’d forget tomorrow, but tonight, that was an exciting prospect. She’d make one in bright yellow for herself, and blue like Castiel’s socks for him. She grinned impishly as she worked on her drink, nearing the end. It wasn’t until she put the cup down that she realized they hadn’t even touched the food! She studied it, trying to think about the claories, until she realized how many might be in the drink.

Fuck it.

“Fuck it,” she agreed with herself before she paused, covering her mouth as she realized she said it out loud, giggling behind her fingers. “I said a bad word.” Another fit of giggles followed, she shook her head, “whoo boy. FUCK.” Another round of giggles, she couldn’t stop covering her mouth. She reached out to serve herself, “soooo. What do the molecules taste in this? Are there molecules in this?” She squinted at the plate dubiously before looking back at him, “I love peanut butter and jelly! That’s my favoritest!” She lit up, now serving herself, she already forgot the doubt.

“He’s somewhere,” she fluttered her free hand. “So tell me, what’s up with your wings?” She looked at him, giggling at his question.

“I’m pretty sure we’re drunk.” She grinned, “we didn’t have to drink a whole liquor store!”


CASTIEL--

He said nothing, but did laugh as an image of Dean wearing a shirt that said 'Team Free Will' on it floated into his mind. He shook his head, banishing the image, squinting at Donna as she considered the food before uttering a curse. “'S okay. Dean says that one all the time when he's angry. Sometimes I want to laugh at him.” He nodded to this, rather enjoying admitting some of the little annoyances and amusements he'd experienced with the brothers over the years, but that he'd never otherwise admit even to himself.


It struck him that coming with Donna to celebrate had been the best idea...possibly in the entirety of all of Creation. And he felt he was in a good position to make a judgment like that, considering. He picked up one of the fajitas, peering at it closely, then willingly took a bite of it. “It tastes like...molecules. Too complex, too much, it's just...molecules.” His face fell, disappointed that he couldn't give her a satisfactory answer.


On some level, it pleased him immensely that she was showing any interest in anything to do with the differences between angels and humans. He spent so much of his time essentially pretending to be human for the comfort of those humans he was around. It was just nice to have someone acknowledge that he was, in fact, not human without it being treated like an annoyance or a joke. These were the thoughts moving sluggishly at the back of his mind when she asked just so casually about his wings, as though it were...no big deal.


“My...wings?” He went wide-eyed once again, then squinted and stared at her. Cas grinned suddenly. “They're healing, Donna. I can fly again. Only a little bit, but I can fly again. The molt is nearly finished, the tertials came in beautifully. They're... Donna, my wings are whole again, and they're...beautiful.” He was rambling again, as excited as he had ever appeared, but the last word was said with a deep tone of awe.


He fell silent, his head tilted once more as he considered her. He licked his lips, suddenly nervous with the thought that had occurred to him. But, this was Donna. She deserved something that no human alive had ever seen from him, for all that she'd done for Claire, for the academy, for the people they helped...and for him, personally. “Would you...like to see them?” Every bit of his body language at this point indicated that he was anxious of her response, and, unconsciously, that he was offering something rare and special.


DONNA--

Dean says a lot of things,” she conceded with him around a mouth full of food. The food was amazing, she would definitely have to come back here and try other things, maybe even talk up the cook into teaching her how to make a few of the dishes. Jody would enjoy it!

“Molecules,” she repeated after him as she saw his face fall, “at least you taste molecules.” She grinned after swallowing, “at least you tried!” She patted his hand and worked at finishing off her drink, that wasn’t an easy feat considering her stomach was now a bit too full and a little sloshy. She smacked her lips while putting the cup down, “I think I want another!” She started to raise her hand before remembering that she had asked Castiel a question about his wings, so she dropped the hand with a mental note that she would order another.

He was rambling, but she saw the excitement he had. “Oh my, I bet they are!” She clapped her hands, “Sam told me you hurt them!” She frowned, “but you’re better now.” She looked so proud, almost like he were her child that had done something amazing. She puffed up, “I need to hug you!” She reached across the table before gasping.

“My gosh! You really would let me see?!”


CASTIEL--

“Another...” He thought that maybe there was something wrong with that idea, but...damned if he could figure out what that was. It sounded like a brilliant idea, really. “We should do that...” He trailed off and stood so suddenly that he almost knocked the chair over in his haste.


“C'mon, Donna,” he said, offering her his hand to help her up...even if he was feeling slightly unsteady himself. When she'd stood, he wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug – though, still very mindful of his strength versus frail human forms. “My wings are healed, and 'm gonna to show you 'cause you're jus' so good at letting me be who I am...and what I am,” he murmured, fondness suffusing his warm, pleased – and slightly slurred – words.


He released her from the hug and moved to the center of the room. He turned around in a full circle, then stopped, facing her, pleased with the amount of room he had. Without hesitation, he slipped his overcoat – that nearly iconic tan trench coat that he'd managed to acquire to match his original beloved one – off and let it drop to the floor. Next came the charcoal suit jacket, quickly joining the coat in a messy pile on the floor. He considered removing his button up shirt as well, just as he had when he'd first gotten up the courage to look at the physical form of his wings, but, one look at Donna and he dismissed that idea. He had a feeling she might be uncomfortable with it.


Instead, his lips quirked into a lopsided smile. He drew upon his the power of his grace, looking to Donna with a glimmer of a blue-white glow shining deep within his eyes, no longer fearing her reaction. This was Donna, she was...family. And she was so much more than the face she showed to the world. She deserved to see him for who and what he really was, the same way she'd allowed him to see her for who she really was beneath the mask she wore.


With a thought that was more inborn instinct than any real concentration of will, and the barest use of the power twisting through his grace, he unfurled his wings and allowed them to manifest on the physical plane. He spread them wide, grateful for the room the bar allowed for this, and flared them up in the classic pose of pride and fierce joy, exactly the way he'd done when allowing Dean to glimpse the merest shadows of them. Only, now, they stood out in full physical form, midnight black feathers chased with flecks of gold and silver spread wide for her to see.


He beckoned to her, studying her reactions curiously, his head tilted to the side. But that fond, pleased lopsided smile never left his lips.


DONNA--

She took the proffered hand and stood up, giggling as she felt the room tilt a bit before righting itself. The room was starting to get dangerously fuzzy around the edges – she liked this bar! She would have to come back, even if the owner was a demon and Castiel was all growly around him. She giggled again at the thought of a growling Castiel and mentally dubbed him her teddy grizzly bear: all growls, but all stuffing inside, really. “Teddy!” She squeaked as she found herself wrapped up in his arms, she hugged him back, tucking her head under his chin for a second before stepping back.

“I’m so happy,” she started squeaking and slurring, everything was so loud and echo-y now. It was almost too much work to talk smoothly.

She covered her mouth with both of her hands when he removed the trenchcoat, he neverever did that! Not even inside a hot place; he would always patiently explain to her that angels didn’t feel heat the same way, but she’d always demand that he take it off. “You are stripping!” She gasped, the giggling turning into outright chortles. She was amused, her hands pulled away from her face as she clapped. Some part of her understood what he was doing, but most part of her just wanted to see the light show.

She gasped loudly as she watched his eyes change colors, mesmerized as she stood there swaying a bit. “Oh… wooooow.” She gasped softly, tilting her head, “Angelboy, they’re beautiful.” Her hands fluttered to over her heart.


CASTIEL--

He full on laughed again at her reactions, his wings lowering into a partially folded, relaxed position, finally just letting him sink fully into enjoying the pleasant buzz that came with imbibing enough alcohol become intoxicated. Forgotten completely now were all suspicions of how he got to that state with only one drink, even it had been a fairly large one, by human standards. Gone were any worries about...well, anything, really. He was able to just let himself be in the moment, and enjoy it.


“Oh, Donna. C'mon. C'mere.” He beckoned her closer, the feathers on his wings trembling and fluffing up a bit. “I want another hug.” Finding himself impatient, and eager for the friendly, soothing contact, he moved to meet her. Just before he reached out to enfold her in his arms, he hesitated, and then pulled his wings forward to wrap them around her first, the feathers soft despite the larger flight feathers' stiff strength, and the entire wings more flexible than they might at first appear – far more flexible than any bird's wings were, despite the similarities.


He pulled her against him, letting his arms wrap around her beneath his wings. “This is mantling, Donna,” he explained, softly, fondly. “This...is what angels do to those they want to protect, those they trust, those they care about. You've shared yourself with me...an' I wanted to return that trust.” Then, despite the sincerity of his words, he giggled softly. “'m soooo drunk, I think. You could take advantage of me.” He paused, then giggled again. “I mean...I'd answer anything you'd want...I dunno...to know...”


DONNA--

Donna couldn’t stop looking at his wings, they really were beautiful to her – she had imagined them to have white wings… but she couldn’t think of Castiel with white wings, it wasn’t fitting. Her lips twisted into a wistful smile as she kept her hands over her heart. “Thank you,” she looked like she was about to cry any moment; that was how moved she was.

She was ready to stumble over to him, but the room was swaying a bit more than she was – so she had to wait. However, there he was, already wrapping her up. She gasped at his wings, then at him tugging her in. “This is so cool,” she squealed, leaning her head against his shoulder, then she groaned.

“I… I… don’t feel good.” She tried to pat at her forehead. “Outside.”


CASTIEL--

All amusement left him at her words. With a thought, his wings appeared to vanish as he slipped them back into the aethereal plane once more. “Okay...it's okay, Donna. I got you.” He supported her carefully, every protective instinct he had flaring up all at once, eons of being a watcher, a guardian, a soldier in defense of those who needed protection coming to the fore.


“Just...it's cold outside, sit down in here,” he rambled soothingly, guiding her toward a nearby chair with one arm around her shoulder to support her should she stumble. “Lemme call Jody, somebody from the cabin, someone...to get you home safe, m'kay?” He brushed his fingers against her cheek, a gentle and purely platonic gesture, seeking to take away the worst of her illness while leaving her the pleasant buzz to enjoy.


He had to work a bit to get his hand into his pocket and retrieve his phone. Briefly, that concern at how easily he become intoxicated rose up, but then vanished under his concern for Donna. Once he'd gotten the phone extracted from his pocket, he set about making the call, letting one hand rest on her shoulder to steady her.


DONNA--

Donna swayed a bit more in his arms, she couldn’t walk straight, but she was able to make it to a chair with him supporting her. “I really don’t feel good,” she moaned – closing her eyes as she tried to lean against the wall. “Why is the room spinning so fast?” Opening her eyes again, she looked at Castiel and managed a weak smile. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled, her words a slur now as she closed her eyes again.

When she felt his touch, she leaned her head a little before relaxing again. “Jody, Jody, Joh-dee-oh. Yes, yes.”


CASTIEL--

Cas made the call, grateful when he got an answer. Making arrangements quickly, managing to sound far more sober and coherent than he felt – the worst of the effects beginning to creep up on him, now, as well – he finished up and hung up the phone....after a few attempts to hit the correct button, anyway, and shoved it roughly back into the pocket of his pants.


He pulled a chair over beside Donna and sat down heavily to wait for someone from the academy to come and get Donna, looking over at her. “Can't decide if this was the best idea ever...or the worst,” he muttered, his words nearly a groan. Despite those words, though, his lips quirked. “It was fun, though, wasn't it?” He let his head drop down a bit, but wrapped an arm around her and squeezed gently.


He may be feeling the effects of the alcohol in some of the worst ways now, but the pleasantness of just feeling close to her, connected by the secret little things they shared with so few others, still left him feeling a bit buzzed, and very pleased with the world.


DONNA--

Donna looked over at him and giggled, “this is the bestest idea ever.” She leaned against him, resting her head against his, “we should totally do this again.” She giggled, “we should even bring Jody, she’d like those margaritas.” She relaxed, closing her eyes, the world was spinning now, just a bit quicker now. “The world needs to stop spinning, I wanna get off,” she chortled, relaxing with him. “Thank you, Angelboy.”


CASTIEL--

Mmm.” The soft sound was as much agreement as acknowledgment. “Jody should come celebrate with us. The...margaritas...those things. So fruity, sweet. Love the things I can make sense of when the molecules combine. Love 'em.” Jody would add a whole new element to this rare and precious experience, he decided silently. It was one he found himself looking forward to.


It has to spin,” Cas muttered fondly. “Bad things happen if it stops. I won't let you go anywhere, 'kay? You're safe.” To emphasize this, he gave her shoulder another gentle squeeze.


His head raised when he caught a car horn beeping, faint even to his ears through the sturdy old walls of the building the bar was in, and probably something she wouldn't be able to hear. Not that it mattered, he'd heard and he could see her safely home now. But he hesitated, struck by his own thoughts. Home...he realized he meant the word for himself as much as for her. Warmth spread through the chest of his vessel...his own chest, his own body now, he reminded himself, and a faint smile played upon his lips.


C'mon, Donna,” he said, pulling himself to his feet with effort. “Your ride is here. Let's get you home safe.” He helped her up as well, steadying her by sliding his arm around her shoulders again.


DONNA--

Thank you,” she murmured, ready for bed even while the world was spinning around her head, and even though they were in a bar with that demon guy. Angelboy would protect her, she was sure of it. “Huh?” She felt him moving after what had felt like forever, she shifted around to get up, it was a bit of an effort, and somehow, they managed to get up without falling over. She swayed a bit before moving with him, “Jodio is here?” She mumbled, following Castiel.

She would follow him anywhere, she decided as they exited the bar, the cold air hitting her face; it felt good. She waved to the familiar car, “Yay! Home!”


CASTIEL--

He chuckled, guiding her to the car, watching her carefully for any signs she was about to slip in the slushy, icy mess, or that she was just plain about to pass out. He opened the car door for her, helping her slide into the seat, and even leaning in to make sure her seat belt got buckled properly – everything he could to be sure she would be safe.


He felt responsible for her, even more at the moment than most of those he considered his charges. He'd vowed at the beginning of the evening that he would make sure she was safe, and he intended to see that was exactly what happened, even if it was safe from herself...and from him.


He spoke softly, asking only that she be taken care of, and the understanding nod he received in return reassured him. Turning his attention back to Donna, he smiled at her fondly. “Get some rest. I...am going to stay here for awhile longer. I'll see you soon.” He reached further into the car to hug her, then backed out and shut the door carefully.


When he stepped back from the car, it moved off into the night, and he watched until it made the turn at the corner and disappeared from sight. Sighing, he moved back to the bar, but instead of going inside, he leaned against the wall outside, tipping his head back and closing his eyes. The white of his shirt – the coats still lying on the floor of the bar, forgotten – immediately became smudged with dirt from the wall, but he paid it no mind. Such things were of no concern when he could clean his garments with a thought.


Some of the faint dizziness he'd felt had passed in the cold night air, but he was aware of the buzzing feeling throughout his vessel, and the muddled slowness of his normally lightning-fast thoughts. Even the faint oily-black-smoke feel of a demon nearby didn't disturb him; he gave it no thought, assuming it must be Jacob somewhere within the building behind him – something that just didn't concern him at the moment.


This, he mused, was as close as he could get to recapturing the feeling of being truly human while he still actually retained his grace.