When Castiel returned to Dean’s side later that night he knew significantly more than he had before but to his dismay, he felt much worse about it all. He had hoped to feel relieved and reassured, but he was neither.  He followed the Crowley-thing and before sunset when he gave up due to extreme despondency it had already made several angel-ish-beings…and every one of them out of demons.  

It could trick demons into coming to him, trick them into thinking he was still their master, as evil as ever instead of only just slightly, faintly, mildly evil, and when they came close enough, he seized them violently…violently!!…and forced them to become angels.  Against their will!  It turned Castiel’s stomach to watch and so he fled as quickly as he could, once he was convinced that it was real, that his eyes weren’t deceiving him.  

Once Castiel told Sam and Dean was was happening, he was disappointed to find how little Dean really seemed to care about the ghastly new creatures that Jovi was making. Castiel had often found it a challenge when Dean refused to take something seriously, but because this was such a serious issue he had assumed that Dean would naturally deem it as important as Castiel himself did.  It was a bit of a shock when Dean seemed unwilling or perhaps incapable of understanding the magnitude of it the situation.  “But they’re still angels, right?  They’re good, right?

“They seem…good, mostly, yes, but…they’re part demon!”  The very idea made him cringe.   “They’re not angels, they’re, they’re…mongrels!”

“But they’re still good though?”

“Yes, but they’re part demon!”

“And part human, and mostly angel.  Right?  So on balance, they’re angels.”

“They’re not angels!  Stop saying that they are, because they aren’t!”

“Ok, well, what are they, then?”

“Disgusting!”

Much to Castiel’s chagrin, Dean very nearly laughed when he said that.  “Isn’t that a way to…I don’t know, make cream out of crap?  Angels out of demons, seems like a net gain to me.”

“They are NOT angels!”  Castiel cringed every time Dean called them angels.  

“Ok, ok.  We don’t have to call them angels if you don’t want us to, buddy.”  

Now Dean was humoring him, agh.  “Good, please don’t!”  

“What do you want us to call them?  Do you have a…some kind of a…preference?”

“I don’t want you to call them anything, I want you to smite them!”

“Ok.  I, uh, ok.  I’ll take that under advisement.  Anyway, let’s call the archangels…like Crowley…darkangels.  Like demon archangels.  And the regular ones, we’ll just call them dangles.  Ok Cas?”  Sam rolled his eyes as if he thought that Dean was unbelievably stupid and for once, Castiel couldn’t help but agree.  Dean couldn’t help but turn everything into a joke.  Dangles.  Please. Ridiculous.

It hardly mattered as long as they’d soon be gone.  “But you WILL smite them, right?”

“Well, we’ll see.  Probably.  Eventually.  Now Cas, think for a minute.  Why do you think Jovi might be doing that?  I mean, why not just make more normal angels?  Old school?”

Sam at least seemed to understand.  “Because she’s insane, and likes to eff with everyone?”

“Yes, yes, that exactly!”  Why could Dean not see?

“Shut up, Sam.  Cas, think.  Why would she not just make more regular old angels?  True blue ones, like you? Strategically?”

Castiel wracked his brain and tried to think of a good reason, any reason, even a bad one.  “Well, I suppose it…it takes less energy to make an…a…a…”  He wouldn’t say it, he refused to say it.   “…a cross breed…from a demon than to make a whole new entity.”

“That makes sense.  She mentioned that she was pretty tired after making me, maybe she doesn’t have the power to give Crowley to make a host of angels.  It’s a shortcut, a cheat.  Heh.”

“Why wouldn’t she just make them out of humans, then, Dean?  It doesn’t add up.”  Sam was still skeptical, thankfully, and a thought occurred to him.  “Consent, maybe?”

“What?”

Sam clarified.  “She has to get their consent, right Cas?  For a human to be the vessel of an angel, which, of course, in order for them to do stuff down here on earth, angels need a vessel, the human has to agree to it.  Angels up in heaven don’t do her any good right now, she needs boots on the ground, and human vessels have to agree to house an angel. Free will.  She wouldn’t want to violate free will by turning a human into an angel without permission.”

“Vessels do have to give their consent to hold an angel host, yes, but…”

“Demons are turned either because they’d made a bargain to give up their souls, they’d given their consent, or because they were possessed and their free will had already been usurped.”

Dean didn’t see the huge and unignorable problem with that.  “Well, there ya go.  Just that simple.  She wants to make a lot of angels, fast, which, which, we need to, to fight Lucifer, and she doesn’t want to have to ask them pretty please first.”  The larger moral issues were apparently still lost on Dean.  All he could see was the convenience factor and not that it was gross and wrong.

“She can’t DO that!  It’s against the rules!  You have to do something about it!”

“Don’t you think you’re being a little bit…unfair here, Cas?  She made the rules, she can change them if she wants to, right?”

Thankfully at least Sam understood.  “Don’t you see, Dean, it’s just a big cheat, just like you said.  She figured out a loophole, a way to force people, against their will, to house…to actually become angels…without their consent.”

“Well, it’s better than being a demon, right Sammy?  Which is what they were to start with.”

“But they chose that, Dean, they made a deal!  Voluntarily!  And anyone who was possessed had their ability to consent taken from them!  They couldn’t agree even if they wanted to!!”

“God shouldn’t cheat, Dean!  And turning possessed people into angels without consent is cheating!”  Why was this so difficult for him to understand?  

“Yeah, but do you even know that any of the demons were possessed, Cas?”

“Well, no…I couldn’t get close enough to tell without the Crowley-thing noticing me.”

“There ya go.”

“She didn’t ask your permission.”

“That was different.”

“How so?”

“Shut up, Sam.”

**************************

For his part, Lucifer knew exactly why Jovi was making angels from demons.  She was toying with him.  She had refused him the ability to make angels, keeping that for herself alone, and had been horrified when he had taught himself through observation and trial and error to make demons.  She hated it, hated that he could do anything on his own without asking her for permission, and every demon she turned was a thumb in his eye, a burr in his saddle, a big fat juicy FU.

But, she would learn.  She had made her fatal mistake.  He had known she would eventually, that she’d try with another to do what she had failed to do with him, to make herself another companion, another friend (gag), another sucker to cater to her whims and obey her commands.  He had known she would since she was weak like that and so he had plotted and planned for millennia what he would do when that day came.  She had surprised him, settling for second place, making a new and improved version of herself, actually giving over some of the power and the most of the control to someone else.  That surprised him.  Why couldn’t she have just done that for him, instead?  It stung.  But after he thought about it for a little while he realized it was good that she had done that.  It was good, because it meant that he could have the truest dream of his heart.  He could defeat her but he could keep her.

Lucifer was made to love God.  And even though he knew this, and despised it, it didn’t change the reality of his nature.  He was made to love God.  But he wanted to win.  For so long, he had been faced with the bitter reality that in order to win, he would have to destroy the thing he loved above all else and then he would be the one who would be alone for all eternity.  It was a cruel joke.  He sometimes thought that the only reason why he hadn’t won yet was because he didn’t really want to win.  But now, he realized, he could have it both ways.  He could defeat God, but he could still have God to love, cherish, and obey him.  All he had to do was defeat Winchester, which he had very nearly done once before, and add that glorious strength to his own.  

Then things would be as they should be.  

********************

Dean appeared in the bunker, with a copy of the movie Frozen and a cage containing a gerbil, along with a bag of miscellaneous gerbil supplies including a clear plastic ball (oddly, it was called a hamster ball) that you could put a gerbil into and let it skitter around all over the floor exploring.  He set the cage down and attempted to grab the gerbil.  But it bit him instead.  He pulled his hand out of the cage and sucked at the bleeding bite.  “Hey!  I’m just trying to put you in your ball, you little…” On the second try, he managed to grab the gerbil without incident.  He shoved it into the hamster ball and set it free on the ground.  It skittered around.    “Well, what’s so hard about that?”

Time passed.  The gerbil did its gerbil thing and Dean did his.  The movie was pretty good.  Dean found himself moderately engrossed and he could kind of see why somebody like Jovi might find it relatable.  Somewhere in the middle of “Let It Go” Sam came in and when he did, he inadvertently kicked the hamster ball across the room and into the wall.  Dean paused the movie on accident with his mind at the same time he grabbed the remote.  He stared at the remote for a moment in confusion before realizing he didn’t even need to use it.  Then he leapt up to retrieve the gerbil.  Dead.  He resurrected it with a thought.  It seemed fine, downright perky even.  He set the ball down and it rolled away again.

Sam blinked.  “What. The. Hell.”  

“You killed my gerbil.”

“Are you watching a cartoon?  A girl’s cartoon?”

“I know it looks like that, but…I don’t know.  Somebody told me it was…whatever.  I was actually mostly just sitting here trying to come up with a fix for ugly women.  It turns out, that’s actually not possible to do, because some of the ugly genes are actually beneficial to the human race in other ways that aren’t visible to the male eye.  Can you even believe that?”

“Why don’t you cure cancer instead?”  

That hadn’t actually occurred to Dean and he felt more than a little silly.  “Whatever, college boy.  I’m gonna get to that.”  And he would, too.  

“Is Adam still…”

“Still asleep.  I’m keeping him that way.  I think he’s just had as much as one person can take.  I figure the longer he sleeps, the better it will be when he wakes up.”

Sam didn’t seem like he approved of that idea, exactly.  “Can we, uh, talk about this, Dean?  I mean, are we just gonna…carry on like nothing is any different here?  Hanging out in the bunker…fighting demons?”

“It’s not, is it?  Just like you said, one or the other of us isn’t human most of the time anyway, at least this time, we can get some good out of it.”

“Well did you do any research, to see if this can be reversed?”

Dean gave him a puzzled look.  “Why would I want to do that?”

“Because there’s gotta be a hidden downside somewhere, right?  There always is.”

“Now, that’s actually not true, Sam.  Normally, when one hears hoofbeats, they immediately think of horses, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a zebra.  We are long past due for a freakin zebra here.”  Sam shook his head, confused.  Sam could be deliberately dense sometimes.  “That rare time when the exception occurs.  Hoofbeats, zebra.  Doesn’t necessarily gotta be a horse.  Just because things are usually turning to crap for us, doesn’t mean it’s impossible that something could ever go our way.”

“Dean, are…Are you…smart now?”

Dean grinned.  “Yeah.  Got some competition.”

“I was never that smart.”

“Yeah, I know that.  Now.”

********************

When Sam Winchester ruminated on his life  – something he tried not to do very often because it was insanely depressing – what struck him was how quickly things went back to normal.  No matter what they faced, no matter how many friends they lost, no matter what they got turned into, no matter how many times they died and came back again, after a couple weeks it was always the same, him and Dean sitting in the Impala, music blaring, driving down the road in the middle of the night looking for something to fight. Sometimes Cas.

And this time was no exception.  Things went right back to normal again.  Boink.  Sam tried not to dwell on the fact that his brother was God now.  This state of denial was made easier by the fact that Dean continued to act, well, just like Dean.  A simple creature.  He went out practically every night, ate copious amounts of Mexican food and Little Debbie snack cakes, drank himself sick, slept with any woman who seemed willing (something about this seemed wrong to Sam, but he reread a few of the juicier Greek myths and decided not to make waves), and went after demons, ghosts, and ghouls with the same verve he’d always had.   The things he’d said when he’d first been turned about being tired and burned out just seemed like the same things that they always said, both of them, when they were tired and felt burned out.

The only thing Dean ever seemed to use, or perhaps abuse, his newfound powers for was sports betting.  He made a ridiculous amount of money betting on the outcome of ball games and fights and horseraces that he must have either known who would win in advance, or else he did something during the game to make his bet into a winner.  Sam didn’t want to look too closely at this process and so didn’t ask which option was the correct one.  He wasn’t sure if it disturbed him more if his brother could see into the future, or if he was actually willing to mess with the natural course of human events to make some scratch.

Dean didn’t spend much of the money.  He bought a new jacket.  Some socks.  He bought an XBox 360 that he never used.  He bought a fancy French food processor that he used a lot.  He bought a VanGogh and hung it on the wall of the bunker.  But mostly the money just sat there, piling up.  Eventually Castiel asked Sam if they could send some of it to orphan’s homes and Sam said yes.  Didn’t take long before every orphanage on the planet was flush with ready cash.  Dean never even noticed the money was missing.

The only appreciable difference between human Dean and God Dean was that God Dean read a lot more books.  He skimmed through every book in the bunker so quickly he couldn’t possibly have been reading them – could he? – and then showed up one day with a stack of math books he’d gotten somewhere.  He proceeded to work his way through from adding apples to oranges, to calculus.  Sam couldn’t help but ask what he was doing, and he looked up and said, “Math is the key, Sammy.  The key to unlocking everything.”  It was creepy.  After that happened, Sam decided not to ask any more questions, primarily because he didn’t really want to know what it was exactly that Dean planned to unlock.  He just watched as Dean burned through those books in a matter of days and then moved on to world literature and biochemistry, art history and quantum mechanics.   

In short, he didn’t seem to be all knowing, but he was learning fast, and so Sam and Castiel proceeded with their plans to de-deify-Dean as quickly as they possibly could.  They chased every lead, talked to every shaman and scumbag Satan worshiper they could track down, and while there were lots of ways to kill gods, there seemed to be few ways to restore their humanity.  The things that they tried, failed miserably.  Sam was never quite sure if Dean knew what they were up to or not.  He walked right through a web that Sam had woven from strands of enchanted gossamer as if it wasn’t even there.  He stepped into a trap Cas had drawn on the floor, and then out of it again, with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye.  It was as if he knew that nothing they could pull out of their collective asses could do a damn thing to him and it amused him to see them try.  

One day Sam came in and he was greeted by a large, dumb-looking bird with a large beak and a fat belly and teeny tiny wings.  It wandered right up to him and looked at him expectantly with black beady eyes.  “Um…Polly want a cracker?”

Dean was hot on its heels.  “Oh there you are, you sneaky little…”  He grinned at Sam.  “He’s faster than he looks.  What do you think of my dodo?”

“Your what?”

“My dodo.  The bird?  I think I’m gonna make em again.  And maybe some passenger pigeons, and Carolina parrots…and bison, lots of bison…I want the streets of New York City to be like, flooded with stampeding bison.”

“Is that…wise?”

“Why not?  They were here first.”  He paused and Sam could sense the excitement coming off of him, could practically smell the smoke as the little men inside Dean’s brain shoveled more coal into the slow furnace of his mind. “See, at first, I couldn’t figure out how she had done it.  I didn’t…I couldn’t figure out how to make things like this.  How to remake them, I mean.  I could only make things she had already made, by following her recipe, her template, but I didn’t have that for extinct animals.  I tried, but everything kept dying on me, but look at this little guy here…”  The dodo blinked as if it knew it was being discussed.  “He seems ok, right??  Healthy?  You don’t happen to have any birdseed around here, do you Sammy?”

“No…”

“Well that’s ok, I’ll figure it out.  Maybe he eats worms or something.  Anyways I managed to regress avian DNA patterns until I got back to what I figured ought to’ve been this little guy’s DNA and then boom, I made him!  Just like I was building him out of Legos or something!”

“Wow, Dean, that’s…that’s…”

“It’s freaking amazing is what it is!  Creating life!   Think about it, Sam, all this time I spent taking lives, now granted, most of them were bad guys, not even human, but still, you know, and now, lookit, I can give back what I took, Sam!  Isn’t that…”  Before Dean could continue, the dodo coughed violently and fell over, dead.  He looked down at it, back up at Sam, and back down again.  “Oh.”

“Back to the drawing board, I guess.”  

“Yeah, I guess.”

 

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