Castiel was reaching out to take Claire's coat for her when Donna just seemed to appear behind Claire with a suddenness and silence that impressed even the angel. Amusement at her chiding of Claire as though she were a child still quickly shifted into surprise when Donna's nagging broke off and she turned her attention to him.
His eyes squinted up in confusion as Donna actually yelled at him. Slowly, he looked down to where she pointed, then back up to her, his eyes widening in understanding. “Oh. My apologies, Donna,” he said sincerely, even as he bent to slip the offending footwear off.
Once he was done, he stood standing in his sock feet – which were oddly, considering the rest of his conservative attire, a vividly bright blue - with the boots in one hand, held out slightly. He looked helplessly from Donna to Claire, clearly uncertain what he should do. He didn't really spend a lot of time at the cabin – though this was something he'd recently resolved to change – and etiquette regarding things like dirtied shoes wasn't really something he'd learned in his time with Sam and Dean at the bunker.
It was only after he'd taken the shoes off that he remembered he'd left bags from his shopping earlier in the day in his car. He sighed, staring down at the offending boots. “Donna, we...need to talk. And...I need to get some things I bought from the car. But, I think the discussion should come first,” he said, looking back up to her solemnly. The nice interlude with Claire was over, and it was time to, as the humans said, 'face the music.'
fretted over the muddied boots some more as she looked mournfully at
the area in front of her. She was ready to say something else when
she saw his bright blue socks, but instead, a laugh came bubbling out
of her. “I know what to get you for Christmas now!” She
grinned brightly, already forgetting that she was upset with him for
having done the deed. A blink, “we need to talk?” She
gave him a worried little look, “do we go outside, or?”
She looked around, “I can make us coffee.”
She paused, glancing at her watch, “it’ll have to be Decaf. Jody can’t stand me on caffeine after this time.” It had finally clicked with Donna that there was a routine where Donna constantly, without trying, pushed Jody’s buttons then learned the rules. So nowadays, she just tried to follow the rules… which didn’t always work. But she tried, dammit.
A curious look settled over her features, she pointed Claire in the direction of the extra rooms, “you need to change into warm clothes and say hi to Alex, she was asking about you.” Of course, she saw that look of indignation that came over Claire’s face, before it softened at the mention of Alex; her eyes followed Claire as she left before she returned her attention to Castiel.
Cas blinked at Donna, unsure what prompted her mention of the Christmas holiday, but knowing enough of her by now to understand that she had her reasons, even if he didn't 'get' them. “Make coffee. Please. We can talk in the kitchen.” He offered her a faint smile, pleased with the offer of coffee. Yes, angels didn't need to eat or drink, but coffee was one thing he'd picked up from the Winchester brothers that he'd come to truly enjoy.
His eyes followed Claire as she wandered off, the faint smile he still had somehow softening, growing fond. Once she'd left, he looked down to the boots he still held, his eyes squinting up as he considered what he should do with them. Finally, he decided on just opening the door and setting them back outside, just to the side of the door so that no one might trip over them. It wasn't like cold shoes would present any particular problem for him, after all.
He closed the door, closed his eyes for a moment to draw up his courage for the discussion to come – an act that he felt was necessary, no matter how much the sheer humanness of that act might amuse him – and wandered toward the kitchen. He hesitated when he saw Jody, then offered her a nod before going to lean against a counter, trying to use the casual gesture to relax and center himself.
Jody just finished pouring the last of
the regular caffeinated coffee into her mug as she heard Donna scold
Castiel. She raised her eyebrow and heard a laugh, guessing it was
all right after all. She started on making the decaf for Donna and
Cas if he wanted it.
She took the creamer out of the fridge and smiled at him as he came in. "Hey Cas, things going well?" She knew Claire was back in the house, and guessed that's why Cas was there. "Coffee?" She asked the angel, taking out a couple mugs, one for Donna an him, setting them on the counter.
it is!” She nodded with excitement, then smiled at Castiel
putting his shoes outside, “thank you. You didn’t have
to,” even if she had just yelled at him. She gestured to the
kitchen and followed behind him, wondering where he had hid his
wings. A tilt of her head as she tried to imagine him with wings,
Castiel had explained once that they were still healing.
In a way, they all were in this house. Even Donna and Jody.
Her lips twisted as she saw Jody, “hey! Did you see Claire come by?” She gestured with her thumb to the doorway, “I told her to see Alex.” She took the cup and smiled, “thanks. Angel-boy has something to tell us,” she immediately had included Jody because, well, whatever anyone told Donna, Jody eventually heard about.
His lips twitched with amusement as Jody set out two mugs without even waiting for him to answer. He'd been around enough for them to learn that he'd learned to enjoy coffee, even without any real need to consume anything. “Please,” he replied anyway, even though she was already seeing to it.
looked between the two women, fondness once more softening his smile.
These were two more he could see entering the personal little circle
of his human family, and he was, indeed, quite fond of them. If for
no other reason than simply because of what they'd done for Claire.
Sobering at the mention of the discussion he needed to have with them, he nodded. “There are a couple of things I felt you needed to be aware of,” he said, looking to each woman in turn. He, of course, had hoped Jody would be around for this. What he had to say, Donna shouldn't have to repeat to Jody. It was on him to take the responsibility to tell them, and whatever consequences arose from it.
“First, there's a bar in town, Salt Lick. The proprietor...” He hesitated, picking up his cup and sipping from it to cover the pause. He took a deep breath, and continued. “He's.. He's a demon.” He looked to each of them again, then rushed ahead. “I made a deal with him. I want him right where he is, so I made a deal. He keeps quiet about this,” he gestured broadly, indicating the cabin, and the academy as a whole,” and I make sure he's left to run his deals.” He'd decided to avoid mention of the young shifter connected with Jacob, at least for now. That part of the deal was his to deal with alone, he felt.
smiled at Donna and nodded. "I did see that yes. Good to have
Claire back. I'm glad she's with Alex." She filled the mugs for
Cas and Donna, then handed them off. She sat down at the table and
took a sip from her coffee, an amused smile on her face at Donna
calling him "angel boy". She had gotten used to her
finally, even if she had wanted to strangle her at first. She does
wear on you.
Her eyes landed back on Cas, she had heard of the Salt Lick before, driven past it. She thought it looked rather, well not so good and her eyes shot up at Cas saying a demon owned and he made a deal with him. She let out a breath and just watched him quietly, letting him finish.
"Jesus Christ, Castiel." She said softly, some disapproval in her voice. She immediately thought of the kids here at the house and sighed. "If he can be kept at his word, you're sure." At times like this she missed Bobby. She knew that he wouldn't be pleased with Castiel over this. "Balls." She said softly, some amusement in her voice.
sat down with her mug, studying Castiel as he ran his internal
debate. “Shut the front door!” She put her mug down, “We
have a demon in town?!” She looked at Jody then back at
Castiel. “I’m not even sure how to respond right now.”
She hopped up from her seat, “we have to handle this.”
Then Castiel explained some more, Jody was sitting there all quiet.
She flapped her lips in frustration, “you taught me demons can’t always keep their words.” She squinted at both of them. “Why would you do that, Castiel?” Her hands went to her hips, then she sat down again, the fire quickly going out of her. “You keep him there, or else,” her hands went back to the mug. “Why would you do that?”
He sighed, partly due to the distrust and anger they displayed, and partly out of sheer relief. It actually could have gone much worse. “I did it because, as you humans say, 'better the devil you know.' I have something to hold over him. I...can't say what. Or, rather, I won't. It was part of the deal. But I do believe he will keep his end. So long as I ensure my end is kept, as well.”
He rubbed absently at the back of his neck for a moment before letting his arm drop and looking at each of them steadily, letting the tiniest bit of the force of his grace show as a faint blue-white glow within his eyes. “I swore that I would protect this place, this very idea, and I will do what I feel is necessary to keep that oath.” He blinked, letting the glow vanish. “I'm sorry,” he continued, his lips tilting up in a slight smile, “the opportunity presented itself, and I took it. With him here, we're less likely to have someone else try to move into the territory. And it would have happened, eventually.”
The smile dropped as he considered the other matter at hand, one that was of more immediate import to these two women. “There's another matter, though. I...found a couple more of your waywards to bring in. But these two are...a little different.” Despite all efforts on his part, he couldn't help but look nervous, even slightly ashamed.
sighed deeply and watched Castiel, holding her tongue on it for a few
moments while she let Cas explain. Her eyes flit to Donna and watched
her react, as she knew Donna would. Her eyes followed her until she
sat back down and then back to Castiel as he spoke.
She sighed again, taking a sip from her coffee as she sat there, mulling this over in her head. "As long as the kids are safe, Castiel. I will trust you on this, I'm not happy about it though. I don't think you'd put Claire in danger, so I will trust you." she had to agree with him, better the devil you know and all.
Her eyes watched him with concern as he mentioned the others ones he wanted to bring in. He had never looked ashamed when talked about bringing kids in before. "How are they different?" She asked with concern, sometimes Cas flicked the mothering switch she hadn't ever quite been ever to turn off.
narrowed her eyes at them then groaned in disgust, “what Jody
said.” She sipped her mug, annoyed little sounds spilling from
her. First of all, there was a very bad… thing not that far
from them, and second of all, Castiel did something without asking
them first. Ugh! Like a man. Well. Angel. Angel-man.
She frowned at the lok of his face, “what’s up, buttercup?” She paused, smiling, “new Waywards? Bring them in.” She looked over at Jody, “we’re all different right? So what’s two more?”
He couldn't help but be faintly amused at Donna's ability to switch moods within a second, though, looking at them both, he had a feeling he might not have heard the last of this. But, discussing the twins was more important than whatever consequences may or may not be yet to come from Jody and Donna.
“They're young. Very young, maybe five years. But they're also a little beyond the kind of different you normally handle. I'm not even sure they should come here.” He sighed, looking down to his bright blue sock-clad feet clashing against the neutral linoleum of the floor. He wiggled his toes a bit, then set his cup onto the counter and forced himself to look at the two women as he continued. “Jody. Donna. They're not normal children. I need you to understand as much as you can before they come here – if you choose to allow them to come here.”
“They're in danger, but they have the potential to be a danger themselves. These two...twins. They're not entirely human. They're...part angel.” He knew he should continue, yet...he wasn't sure he wanted to. He honestly wasn't sure just how much they knew about that period of his history.
They surely knew of his failed attempt to replace his Father, but he had no idea how much of the events leading up to that terrible time Dean had chosen to tell anyone, if anything. Dean himself only knew the whole of it because Castiel had confessed his transgressions to the hunter in bits and pieces during the dark time in Purgatory, a sort of penance for all of Dean's unanswered prayers before they'd come together once more to escape.
He forced himself from his thoughts, and focused solemn blue eyes on the pair of humans before him. “They're in danger. And they're dangerous, or will have the potential to be as they get older.” He sighed, letting his gaze drift back down to his rather silly socks. “Despite that, or maybe because of it, I'd appreciate it if you let them come to stay here. I owe it to them. I... Balthazar... Their father's death was my doing.”
watched Donna with an amused look on her face. She knew those sounds
very well, she was very proud of her for keeping it in check though.
She took another drink from her coffee and set it down on the table
and watched Castiel as he then began to try to explain about the new
Her eyebrows shot up at their ages, they hadn’t had any that young here yet. Still, she supposed that could be arranged to take care of them. She was going over a few things in her head about what they would need, like her own son had at that age. When Castiel said they were danger, and they could also be a danger, she pulled her hands away from the mug, setting them on her lap. Her eyes watched him as she followed along everything he said.
“Wait, part angel? And you killed their Father?” She remembered Dean and Bobby telling her about Balthazar, kind of a dick, as most angels were. She had no idea that angels could Father children. Sam had said that Balthazar was quote the ladies man apparently though. Jody knew that love could exist between angels though, seeing Nehemiah and Madalina, that much was very apparent between the two of them.
Jody sat quietly for a moment and nodded once. “They can come here and stay of course, Castiel.” She offered him a smile, thoughts still turning over in her head. She slid her gaze to Donna, knowing for certain it would give her something to focus on. “I believe we have a room with two beds as well. Waywards of all sorts are welcome here.” She tried to keep the concern out of her voice. At five years old, perhaps things would go smoothly for the girls.
year olds?” Donna’s eyes practically started sparkling as
she thought about two five year old girls running underfoot; she was
dreaming about playing dress up, having tea parties, teaching them
how to kick ass while looking pretty. “Two five year olds?”
A smile settled on her lips, she nodded eagerly, “can we Jody,
Then she fell quiet, frowning a bit at Castiel as he confessed the murder of their father.
“Oh Angel Boy,” she got up after putting her mug down to go give him one of her bit-too-tight bear hugs. “They’re our babies now, we’re their daddies now.” She hugged him more tightly.
Castiel actually visibly winced, and found he couldn't bring his gaze back up to meet with either of theirs. “Yes, I...killed Balthazar. It was regrettable. One of the many sins I have yet to atone for.” Regret, he thought, was a word that really just didn't convey the depths of his feelings, but it would have to do.
He listened to Donna – he was fairly certain it was her, anyway – walk over to him, fully expecting another scene like the one at the door with his shoes. Only, this one he would fully understand, and fully believed it would be deserved. So, he was quite taken by surprise when, instead of a scolding, or even quiet words of disappointment or disapproval, she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly.
It took him a moment, but then he carefully slid his arms around to her back, returning the hug carefully. He looked over to Jody as he was held in Donna's arms, nodding to her. “Thank you. Both of you,” he said, letting his arms loosen and drop to his sides, once again mindful of Dean's rules of how long such contact should last before it got 'weird.' “I... I'm grateful to both of you. These girls deserve a chance at a human life, without being hunted.”
rolled her eyes slightly as Donna asked for the girls, like a kid
would for a puppy. She swallowed a bit hard and took a sip from her
coffee, watching her go over and hug Cas. She couldn't keep the look
of fondness on her face at the interaction.
She had to admit she was slightly uneasy about children being around full time. She had to deal with them on and off for work since her son died, but even if she did keep tabs on the kids, they weren't constantly around. Well, no time like the present apparently
"We're their family now." She said softly, nodding a bit. "When are the girls going to be coming here?" Donna smiled slightly to them both. "Do you need to borrow my car to get them, Castiel?" She kept her gaze on him.
let go of Castiel when he dropped his arms and clapped her hands
happily, “we’re getting babies!” A smile settled on
her face as she patted Castiel’s shoulders, “we’ll
celebrate later! Now, I need to do some shopping,” she
squinted, “do you know what sizes they are? Their favorite
colors? Their favorite foods? What shows do they like? Oh my gosh,
what books do they like reading?”
After taking a breath, she waved her hands, “no matter, I’ll get one of everything.” She paused, “they are the same sizes right?”
She looked at Jody with that smile of hers, “I’ve got so much to do! I… don’t even know where to start.” Her eyes flicked to Castiel, “we’ll take care of them like they were our own. No one will touch them.”
Overwhelmed with Donna's enthusiasm, he merely blinked at her. “Ah, I have some things in the car. Clothing suitable for the weather, some food. I...ah, I am unfamiliar with what human children need beyond their basic needs. And I'm afraid I did not think to ask what they preferred.” Cas looked to Jody helplessly. “I'm not sure they would know, themselves. They were kept captive for a time, from what I understand. Nehemiah said they'd escaped some kind of imprisonment.”
He shook his head at Jody. “Illessa has already agreed to let me make use of her truck. She said it would be much easier than my car.” Unaware of it, a faint trace of a frown creased his forehead as he said this, very much as though he were somehow insulted that someone thought his car was unsuitable in any way.
“I'm going to get them tomorrow from Nehemiah and Madalina's cabin, if that isn't too soon for you?” Though the question seemed to be directed at both women, his gaze remained steadily on Jody. He didn't know everything that had happened, but Dean and Sam had both spoken to him previously about her lost son, and he had considered that younger children being around might be a problem for her.
frowned slightly at hearing the girls were kept prisoners for a
little while. She knew they were in good hands with Nehemiah and
Madalina though for the moment. "Donna can get the rest of what
they need." She knew as soon as she said it she knew it was a
bad idea, only picturing her buying out the children's department at
Costco. "On second thought, I will get some things for the beds
and what else they might need for a short time. Maybe see what else
they prefer after a little bit and then have Donna get the rest,
within reason." She eyed her slightly. "When I make a
list." Donna had gone overboard before, she loved her to death,
Jody couldn't help the smile creep onto her lips about how Castiel's car would be unsuitable. She had to work very hard not to burst out laughing and hid her expression as much as she could behind her coffee cup. "Your car is fine for the road, just not for the terrain we have here, Cas." She stood up and set her mug in the sink, walking over and giving Cas a one armed hug.
"Tomorrow will be just fine. Bring what you have so far and I'll get a few more things if we need it tonight." She smiled to them both. She knew Claire would appreciate the reprieve from Donna's overbearing nature.
eyed Jody, parting her lips as she readied her protests, but then she
quickly changed her mind. “Fine,” she went to sit down
with her coffee, “but they get pretty dresses.” She
paused, “what if they don’t like dresses?” She
frowned a bit before rolling her shoulders, “no matter. I love
them no matter what. They’re my babies.” She had a smile
of contentment as she took a few sips of her coffee, listening to
“I’ll just… sit here.” She held up her coffee, “and I’ll air out the room, I promise I won’t do anything else.” She paused, squinting, “much.”
Her eyes flicked to Castiel, “Thank you for trusting us.”
His eyes darted between them, relieved that he was able to relax enough about the entire situation to be amused by the pair. They were such an interesting study in human behaviour, and so very different from his human-brothers, these women were. Cas found that despite that difference, or maybe it was because of it, he was coming to truly enjoy their company. Slowly, a smile spread across his lips.
He accepted Jody's hug, returning it with a brief squeeze of her shoulders. “Thank you,” he murmured to Jody, his eyes darting to Donna where she sat talking about the twins like they were already members of family. Then again, he supposed they were. His words were meant to convey his thanks for managing Donna's confusing enthusiasm more than anything.
His smile grew when Donna thanked him for what he felt the women had already earned several times over. “I should thank you, both of you, for trusting me, despite my many...mistakes.” He hesitated, then his eyes squinted as he considered something. “Is there anything I can do? The twins should be my responsibility. I owe it to them. I...have no idea what to do with human children. And they are, essentially, human. For now. My one attempt at childcare was...quite the disaster.” Despite the terror and sorrow of that time, he couldn't help but chuckle softly at his own ineptitude.
sighed and looked at Donna. "I didn't like dresses at their age.
Give them time, see what they like." She smiled at Cas and
leaned against the counter.
Jody raised an eyebrow at his words and sighed softly. "No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, many of them in our lives." She smiled to him. "We can all take care of them here. Take turns for different things, yeah?" She nodded to Donna. "She can spoil them rotten. We have teachers, you can be one of them, Cas."
She smiled a bit at his mention of the disaster that happened when he was caring for a child. "The..Rit Zien? Dean told me about that." She patted him on the arm. "Parenting is a learning on the job thing anyhow. You drop the ball sometimes, it happens." she smiled a bit sadly and looked away for a moment. "Knowing Madalina, she might like being around the girls herself." She had liked both of the angels, knew they preferred to keep to themselves. There was a childlike quality to Madalina though, she wondered if she had always been like that. Nehemiah was always the guardian and caretaker of her.
stayed quiet, sipping at her coffee while she made a mental list of
things she needed to convince Donna that they HAD to get. Her eyes
flicked to them while they talked parenting, that was the one thing
that she would never get to have. No matter how much she tried, she
just couldn’t be a parent in that way; so adopting the wayward
kids had been the next best thing. She had so much love to give, too
bad the universe didn’t understand.
She frowned mentally at her own thoughts before shaking them away. “We can talk with Linda about some academic tutors for the kids, I don’t think we have any that can teach them at that age,” she offered helpfully. Not sure for that moment if she could really help.
“Angel Boy, you’re perfect,” she smiled as she tried to pat Castiel’s hand in reassurance. She shifted away, standing up to put her mug in the sink. “I should go work on the room now,” she had to figure out how to get out of the parenting conversation.
He stiffened at the mention of the angel that had caused so many human deaths, and all because of him. “Yes...Tanya. The baby's name was Tanya. She had a fever. I couldn't heal her. I panicked.” Slowly, he forced himself to relax, breathing steadily. Sometimes, things still hit him wrong. He thought of Claire, just earlier that evening. Yes, learning to be okay. Sometimes, it meant accepting that he wasn't entirely 'okay' yet. “Parenting isn't something angels ever have to learn.” Still, he was trying with Claire, even if he hadn't really thought of it that way until just now.
“Yes, I would imagine Madalina will want to continue to see the twins,” he said absently, though his attention was on Donna, more specifically the frown that looked so strange in place her otherwise normally cheerful expression. There was something going on with her, and it concerned him. Donna patted his hand trying to reassure him when he was suddenly certain she might be the one more in need of reassurance.
He opened his mouth, then closed it again, unsure what to say that wouldn't be...well, the wrong thing to say. Avoidance and deflection were things he'd learned how to deal with, but trying to help someone who was usually more open was an entirely new territory for him. His gaze flicked to Jody, then he looked over to Donna pointedly. “Donna,” he finally said, trying to catch her eyes. “Is there...anything I can do to help?” If she chose to take his meaning as just an offer to help with the room, he would accept it. But he meant it as an offer to listen to whatever was troubling her as well.
smiled faintly about Tanya's fever. "That could not have been
easy for you, being used to just heal at a touch like that." She
nodded a little. Having to deal with a sick baby while dealing with
being human and the limitations could not have been easy for him.
"I think speaking to Linda about tutors is a very good idea. Once we get the girls here though, once they get comfortable." Jody nodded and slid her gaze to Donna, also noting how she looked sad for the moment, knowing sometimes it was better to let things lie though, sometimes. She knew Donna would talk to her if she felt the need to speak about it. Her eyes slid about the room as she thought about the list if things to get, she knew Donna would either ignore one thing and get twenty extras if she sent her. Best to leave it to herself for the immediate run.