Characters: Castiel, Sam, Dean, OFC
Summary: Castiel runs into Jimmy Novak's mother. Dean and Sam have to run damage control.
Written for: liliaeth
At first, Castiel didn't acknowledge the voice. Exactly 9 minutes and 45 seconds ago, Dean had told him that he and Sam would meet him in approximately 10 minutes. Castiel was not sure if Dean would arrive short of the 10 minute mark or long of it. He had not yet worked out when it was appropriate to get concerned if Dean was tardy. While Dean seemed to appreciate Castiel's own punctuality, he did not often exhibit the same behavior himself. Naturally, Castiel understood that the human concept of time was often relative. Yet they had invented watches and Castiel knew that Dean did in fact wear a watch.
"Jimmy! Oh my god, Jimmy?!"
Castiel realized that the woman was talking to him and looked up at her from where he sat on the park bench. Helen Novak.
"I am not Jimmy," Castiel informed her.
"Jimmy? Why...? Where have you been? I don't understand. You just disappeared. We had a funeral. We...Jimmy, what about Amelia and Claire?"
"They are safe," Castiel told the woman, "I've kept my promise."
"What promise?" Helen asks, "oh Jimmy...where have you been?"
"I am not Jimmy. I am not your son." Castiel clarified, the woman, Helen, seemed on the verge of tears. Castiel considered her for a moment. Jimmy Novak would probably not want his mother to be upset. Castiel should comfort her.
"You believe that Jimmy abandoned his family because you did not raise him right, because his own father abandoned him, because you married the wrong man. This is not true," Castiel informed her.
Oddly this seemed to make Helen Novak cry more. Very strange.
"Cas?" Dean's voice said from behind him. Castiel turned to see the Winchester brothers looking at Helen Novak in concern. "Hey Cas...what's going on?"
"Cas?...but...why? Jim-" Helen started to sputter through her tears.
"This is Helen Novak," Castiel informed Dean.
"Novak?" Dean said, and Castiel watched in fascination as a variety of emotions flashed across Dean's face. Sam's face was slightly easier to read, as he simply looked like he felt sorry for the woman.
"Jimmy Novak's mother," Castiel told them, to be certain they understood.
"What? Uh...what did you say to make her cry?" Dean asked, and seemed to be bracing himself for an impact, though Castiel could see no immediate threat to their well-being. He had made sure the park was secure before asking them to meet him.
"She was concerned that Jimmy's tumultuous childhood led to him abandoning his family. I informed her that it was his choice and had nothing to do with the fact that she married the wrong man."
"Oh god...uh...ok, yeah, um..." Dean ran a hand over his face and glanced at Sam, who nodded. Castiel felt, as he often did around Dean, like he was missing half of the conversation.
"Jimmy?...I love you, why are you..." Helen Novak tried again.
"I am not your son," Castiel repeated. "I am an-"
"Cas," Dean cut in, "why don't you come with me and we'll have a chat. Sam will explain things to Mrs. Novak."
Castiel took in Dean's hard glare, and Sam's anxious look, and acquiesced. He rose from the bench and followed Dean ten paces away. He did not have to look back at the bench to know that Sam had taken his place beside Helen Novak.
They did not talk. Dean just watched Sam and Helen Novak over Castiel's shoulder. Castiel wondered if he had done something wrong. He felt Sam approach them after a few minutes, while Helen Novak remained on the bench.
"What'd you go with?" Dean asked, as soon as Sam had joined them.
"Jimmy Novak has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Castiel is one of his alters. He's a danger to his family, and is being held in a psychiatric facility. Visitors upset him, and he's only allowed out with certified supervision."
"You lied," Castiel said, remembering what Dean had told him "did you want something from her?"
Sam gave Castiel a confused look. Dean ducked his head oddly. Sam then glared at Dean.
"I wanted her to stop crying," Sam said, "Now come on, let's find somewhere more private to talk. Apparently, I'm on damage control today, and you aren't the only one who's made a mess of something."
Title: The Closest He Ever Came
Characters: Sam and Dean
Summary: Sam's POV on finding his old soccer trophy in John's lock-up.
Written For: lelaro
"No way! That’s my division championship soccer trophy. I can’t believe he kept this," Sam said, taking it from Dean. Just holding it, brought back all the memories of that summer.
He had wanted to play soccer so badly. It was all his friend Alejandro talked about, and they needed another player for the team, and Sam had confessed all this to Dean one night. He had stayed in bed longer the next day, though Dean hadn't asked him to...and he had listened while Dean begged their father to let them stay the season, to let Sam play soccer instead of taking them up to Colorado to teach them bow-hunting. He had listened while Dean promised all sorts of things to make up for the break in training, for staying put. And when Sam finally did get out of bed, he knew what part Dean needed him to play...he knew that Dean hadn't really wanted him to listen. So, he got up and pretended to be groggy, pretended he had just woken.
"So, Sam...I'm thinking we might stay here for a couple more months," his father had said. "Or you and Dean will anyway. That be ok with you? You might get bored. You'll have to find some activity to pass the time with..."
Sam had smiled broadly and nodded, and seen Dean's answering smile from behind their father. Then his Dad had ruffled his hair and passed over the lucky charms, and Sam had been happy.
Dean had come to every game, standing apart from the other parents. Dad was away most of the summer and Sam had expected Dean to gripe about having to stay behind to look after Sam, but he never did. He just stood at the edge of the soccer field in his combat boots, and smiled whenever Sam assisted with a goal, or successfully blocked a pass.
Dad had been on a Hunt when Sam won the trophy, but when they got home, Dean placed it in the middle of the kitchen table facing the door before they went to bed. Sam woke up in the morning to find his Dad sitting on his bed, looking tired, but smiling at him warmly.
"Good job, Sammy" his Dad had said, then patted him once on the chest and disappeared out the door. The trophy was on his nightstand.
They packed up and left the next day, and Sam didn't have a chance to say goodbye to Alejandro, but he figured that was just as well - because that way the last memory for both of them would be one where they were flushed with victory. It was a good note to leave on.
Sam packed the trophy, and would put it next to his bed whenever they stopped for more than a night. Whenever he unpacked it, it brought back the memories of being on the soccer team - eating oranges at half-time, seeing Dean smiling from the sidelines, his father praising him for something that normal kids get praised for...it made him feel normal.
"Yeah, it’s probably the closest you ever came to being a boy," Dean said as if reading Sam's mind.