The Typo Queen (dorksidefiker) wrote,
The Typo Queen

Not Exactly Apple Pie Part V

Part V
So I'll seek you out just to find myself

No one was surprised when Sam suggested school, and Dean could have recited his brother's arguments in his sleep. It's normal, it'll be good for Zoe to be around kids her own age, Sam and Dean had both gone to school in spite of moving constantly.

Castiel's counter argument was a bit better.

“I can't guard Zoe as well there. She would be vulnerable.”

It was Dean who struck the decisive blow.

“You gonna follow the kid around for the rest of her life?”

“Do I get a say?” Zoe asked more than once. The general consensus was no, leaving Zoe to sulk and glare and poke through the books resentfully.

“We can make some hex bags,” Sam went on. “Then we enroll Zoe-”

“And then you all can get arrested for kidnapping,” Zoe pointed out with false cheer. “Or did you forget that bit?”

“We can fake you up a new identity.” Sam looked to Bobby for confirmation, earning himself a growl from the older man.

“This ain't gonna be easy. What I've worked up before won't pass close scrutiny. It was only ever meant for quick in-and-out work. This is a whole damn life.”

“Birth certificate,” Dean said thoughtfully, ticking points off on his fingers, “old school records, immunization records – what?” He looked around at the surprised faces of everyone but Cas. “By middle school, getting us enrolled was my job.”

Bobby grimaced, then sighed. “We can do this, but it ain't gonna be easy, and you,” he jabbed a finger in Zoe's direction, “gotta stay out of trouble.”

“Please. You think this is my first dance with CPS?” Zoe picked out a book, flipping through the pages, then put it back. “I can do my part. The question is, can you guys not come off as creeps?”

“You should have more faith in our ability to deal with the authorities, should the need arise,” Cas lectured gently.

It was unanimously decided that Cas wouldn't be allowed in the same room as anyone that might come poking around asking questions.

Of course, there was one looming problem that no one particularly wanted to bring up – two, if you counted the fact that Jody, when she returned with another batch of sandwiches, wanted to know the whole truth of what was going on. The sheriff listened to the story with surprising patience, asking questions only when it was needed to coax the truth out of the reluctant story tellers. If Jody wasn't buying that Cas was an actual Angel of the Lord, she hit it well; but she had been around for a zombie uprising and a couple of near Apocalypses. That would be enough to make a believer out of anyone.

“So why isn't your Mom on TV wailing about wanting her poor little baby back?” Jody asked, giving voice to the question everyone had been avoiding for a while.

“Because Meg wants to keep this quiet,” Castiel finally said. “She knows where we are and could have easily brought the law down on us, but she hasn't because it won't take very long for others to put the facts together after that. Even if she got Zoe, she'd be fending off everyone and everything else that might want her, for whatever reason. So for now, Meg values secrecy as much as we do.”

“I've been keeping an eye on the fallout from Zoe's old school,” Sam added. “They, uh, haven't been able to identify all the remains yet, and they've only released the names of some of the students. The police are doing their best to keep a tight lid on things...” Sam turned to Jody with a mute appeal that had Dean rolling his eyes.

“I'll see what I can get,” Jody said. “They won't have released the names of anyone who's family they couldn't contact-”

“And Joanne McGrudder is officially a missing person,” Sam added helpfully.

“No other family?” Jody's tone was gentle and sympathetic, and it was met with cool derision.

“Depends on who you asked. My grandparents both died when I was little,” Zoe said. “And there were plenty of 'honorary uncles', but Mom's type aren't the kind that leave behind addresses. Or real names.”

Cas cleared his throat, and Zoe subsided with a glare in Dean's direction. Dean resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at the girl.

“Oh-kay.” Jody murmured, glancing askance at Dean before obviously deciding that whatever was going on there was something she didn't want to get in to. “First thing you gotta do is take her out in public so people stop thinking you're holding her hostage – Mr. Davidson already thinks you're forming some kind of anti-government militia, and that's probably one of the tamer rumors going around.”


“Next one of these douchebags asks me if I'm alright, I'm gonna scream that they tried to grope me,” Zoe hissed.

Sam could feel a headache blossoming behind his eyes as he held out a backpack to Zoe. “I thought we agreed that you weren't going to do anything that attracts attention?” he asked, wishing for the moment that Dean hadn't dragged Castiel off to the other side of the Wal Mart.

Zoe's lip curled at the pastel butterflies that cavorted across the backpack, putting it right back on the hook. She lingered over one emblazoned with a My Little Pony logo, but ultimately picked out a utilitarian bag in basic black that looked big enough to carry a week's worth of supplies. “Twelve years, I'm practically invisible. Now they care?”

All Sam could do was shrug. “You could get the other backpack.”

“Sure I could, Samantha. And after that we can have makeovers and you can teach me to braid hair. Such a girl.” The black backpack went into the shopping cart, on top of pencils, pens, notebooks, and folders. “Where'd Cas get kidnapped to, anyway?”


Dean held up one of the shirts from the pile he'd picked out, giving it a critical once over before shoving it into Cas's arms. “You completely ruined the clothes you borrowed, you know. That is a stink not even your mojo could kill.”

Castiel was tempted to argue that he was more than up to the task of cleaning garments, but chose to hold his peace instead. This was just Dean being Dean... and perhaps Dean had a point when he'd dragged Castiel across the store to the racks of men's clothing. Now more than ever he needed to conserve his energy, and Castiel was willing to admit that Jimmy's shirt and slacks were ill suited to the tasks he'd set himself. For his part, Dean seemed to be enjoying himself. The hunt had done some good for Dean's mood – he was not a man who enjoyed sitting idle.

Castiel could appreciate that.

“Anyway, if you're gonna be creeping around a school – and I know you will be – you gotta look way less like a flasher,” Dean added with a hint of a grin.

“It's my understanding,” Castiel sniffed, “that my attire makes me look professional.”

“Only when you aren't creeping around a school,” Dean countered. “Then it makes people think of strangers with candy.”

“I'm not sure if these will help dispel that image, Dean.” Jeans and t-shirts made up most of the pile of clothes, with a few button down shirts and a bag of underwear thrown in for good measure.

“Just go try 'em on,” Dean sighed, already eying the store's shoe selection.

Sam would have made a joke about dress up dolls, but Castiel was more inclined to let Dean enjoy himself without any teasing.


“And you are-?” Dean prompted, parking the Impala in front of the Sioux Falls Middle School. Zoe was hunkered down in the back seat next to Cas (who had insisted on wearing his overcoat and suit despite Dean's advise), backpack in her lap.

For the sixth time that morning, Zoe recited her new biography, clearly bored with it already. “My name is Zoe Ann Fairchild. I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, and my mom took me to live in a commune in Mexico, where I was home schooled. My mother has recently died – can we make it syphilis instead of cancer? Cancer's way overdone.”

The real Zoe Fairchild had been taken to Mexico by her mother when she was a baby, where she had died before she was a year old; Bobby had decided that the dead girl's identity had been too good to pass up. With Jody's help, they'd claimed the identity for Zoe, creating a simple life story. Now all she had to do was remember it.

“Stick to the script, smart ass,” Dean growled.

“Died of cancer, leaving me in the care of her old 'friend' Dean, who may or may not be my biological father. Do I have to do this?” Zoe looked out the window at the kids streaming past. “We could just leave.”

“Yes, you do. I went to school, you gotta go to school. Stay out of trouble.” Dean passed a cell phone back, and Zoe tucked it into her pocket with a little grumble.

“We'll be here to pick you up at 2: 30,” Castiel assured her. “And if anything looks suspicious, call.”

Zoe slid out of the back seat, shouldering her back pack with an annoyed grunt as she trudged towards the school.

“They grow up so fast.” Dean pretended to wipe away a tear. “Lets go hunt us a demon bitch.”


Humans, it has been noted, are often creatures of habit. Even ones who had lived lives as chaotic as Sam and Dean Winchester had their daily routines, and it became especially easy to fall into routines when not chasing monsters hither and yon across the country. So, slowly but surely the household at the Singer Salvage Yard settled into a routine of it's own. Early morning hand to hand practice (devoted learning how to do enough damage to allow escape) and breakfast, dropping Zoe off at school, research, watching for the signs and omens that told of demons, picking Zoe up from school, more training (mostly making Zoe help with research), with the odd night out to hustle pool or play poker. In time, Cas began joining Dean on the occasional night out. People settled in, with years of accumulated things being moved out of the bedrooms under the pretext of looking for this volume of forgotten lore or that talisman, letting Sam and Dean move off the couches, and Zoe out of the panic room.

Even Castiel fell into the odd little pattern – no angel would have actually admitted it, but most of them thrived on routine as much as any human did. And he discovered that he actually enjoyed fixing things – after dealing with the plumbing, Castiel tackled the windows, which had become prone to letting in the chill late fall air. Then he had been recruited to help Dean with the Impala whenever Dean felt his baby needed some work (which was often).

Of course, there were still the little adjustments that had to be made...

Dean pounded on the bathroom door with growing impatience. “C'mon, it's not like you've got lady locks like Sam! Get outta there already!”

“Can't. I'm bleeding.”

“That's what you get for climbing around in those damn cars. You're probably gonna need a tetanus shot. Cas, we need you!”

“I'm bleeding from the crotch, douchebag! I'm on the rag!”

Dean let go of the door handle like it was red hot, just as Cas arrived at his side. The angel cocked his head to the right, worry flashing briefly his face. Dean pulled Cas away from the bathroom with a shake of his head, watching it like he expected something horrifying to come crashing out. “Girl thing,” he explained. “She's gonna be even more of a raging bitch than usual.”

I. Can. Hear. You.

“Maybe we can just leave you in there for the rest of the week,” Dean suggested.


Never before had Dean Winchester so badly wanted the ground to open up beneath him and just swallow him up than he did as he stood in the convenience store, just staring at the mindboggling selection of “feminine products” lined up neatly on the shelves before him. He’d never had to deal with any of this crap when he’d been living with Lisa; she knew what she needed and she got it herself, and it had never ever come up in any kind of conversation at all.

Deep breath, Dean. You’ve faced down the Devil himself, this is nothing to lose your shit over.

“Fuck,” he muttered to himself as he crouched to inspect a plastic wrapped package that announced that this particular product was for Light Days, “I shoulda made Sammy do this.”

But Sam had disappeared the moment that Zoe had announced through the locked bathroom door that no, she was not coming out because she was bleeding from her crotch, and she would not be coming out until she was brought something to deal with said bleeding.

The first thing Dean had done upon hitting the drug store was track down the Midol. Maybe it would even make Zoe less of a bitch than she usually was. And maybe pigs would fly. But now he was faced with the choices, and only some half-remembered TV commercials to guide him in them.

“Problem here?”

Dean rose awkwardly from his crouch, whirling to face the sheriff, who looked on him with an expression that mixed amusement and pity. He rocked back on his heels, refusing to let his agitation show. “No, it’s all good.”

And oh God, the sheriff was snickering. Only a little, but he could hear it, and he could feel his ears heating even as she picked out a few of the plastic packages and put them in the little basket still clutched in Dean’s nerveless fingers. “I’m thinking I should swing by Bobby’s after my shift tonight. You take care now,” she said, turning away with a little wave of her fingers.


It was the little things, Dean realized. Little things that built into bigger things, until they got so big not even Dean could ignore them, however much he might like to. It was never an easy thing to have your world view shifted off it's axis.

For Dean, that moment came after a great night of poker. Flush with his winnings, he'd hit up the bar, and then she'd slid up beside him. She was lean and tan, with sun bleached hair, pouty pink lips, and a top cut low enough to give Dean a generous view of her cleavage. She was very impressed with Dean's skill at poker, and with his arms, which she dubbed strong as she traced her fingers up and down the inside of his forearm. Dean was impressed with the way she was able to keep that top within the realm of decency and the way she could down a shot without even blinking. She leaned in close, breasts brushing against Dean's arm as she trailed her fingernails across the back of his hand.

Without really thinking about it, Dean pulled his hand away, laying down enough cash to cover his tab. He'd promised Cas he'd help with the roof in the morning, and when Cas said morning, he meant as soon as the sun comes up. “Sorry, honey, but I need to be on my way.”

“Someone waiting at home?” she of the low cut top asked with obvious disappointment.

The question caught Dean by surprise, bringing him up short. Here was this beautiful woman, this very interested woman, and Dean was ready to just leave her and go back to an early morning with an angel who was weird at the best of times, a surly old guy, an annoying little brother, and an ungrateful kid?

His family, strange and broken as it was.

Cas would be making the rounds of the house this time of night, diligently guarding whatever sleep everyone else could get. He'd still be at it by the time Dean got back.

“Yeah,” Dean finally admitted. He spent the drive back thinking about a lot of things. Some of them important, some not so much in the grand scheme of things.

Cas was in Bobby's study, fingers tracing invisible sigils on the window glass when Dean got in. The angel said nothing, not even as Dean followed him on his rounds. Dean didn't say anything either, not until Cas started climbing the stairs.

“I'm real bad at this kinda thing.”

Cas paused and turned, waiting for Dean to continue.

“You – you're important, you know? To me.” Dean followed Cas the rest of the way up the stairs. “You're family. I.” He stopped. It was so damn easy to say the words when he didn't mean them, when he didn't mean them, when it was just to charm a pretty face into his bed.

Cas, apparently, didn't need Dean to say the word.

The lips that brushed against Dean's were dry and chapped, and they were gone almost as soon as they touched Dean's.

“I'm gonna need time,” Dean murmured, fingers tracing Cas's jaw, feeling the dark stubble that dotted the angel's skin. Cas's lips twitched in a near smile of perfect understanding.

If anyone noticed that Dean and Cas stayed in near constant orbit around each other the next morning, no one felt the need to comment.


There was a boy standing on Bobby Singer's front porch, and he had pie. Working out just why there was a boy standing on Bobby Singer's front porch with pie had somehow become Dean Winchester's job. The boy looked up at him, freckles standing out sharply against his blanched skin, hair standing about his head in an orangy kind of halo, brown eyes wide behind a pair of wire frame glasses. "Um, hi? I'm Mike?"

Dean leaned against the door frame casually and smiled. "Hi, Mike. What can I do for ya?" he asked, eyes flicking from the boy's face to the pie and back again. Apple, his nose told him. Fresh apple pie.

Mike inhaled deeply, then spat his words out all in one go. "SoI'minZoe'sclassandIheardhersaysomethingaboutitbeingherbirthdayandmymomkeepsmakingallthesepiesandstuffandIthoughtYouknowZoemightlikesomepieonherbirthdaybutyouguysprobablyhaveplansandI'lljustgonowbye!" The boy flashed what was probably supposed to be a smile at Dean that looked more like rictus of fear and darted off the porch like someone had just set his ass on fire. He was almost to the bike propped up on Bobby's fence when he turned back around, coming back to the porch and pacing the pie in Dean hands. Then he was gone again, taking off on the bike and disappearing down the road.

Dean watched the boy go, then looked down at the pie in his hands, a chuckle welling up in his chest as he turned around. Oh, this was gonna be fun. "Zoe!"

The stairs creaked as Zoe stomped her way down them, as sullen as ever. "What now?" she snapped. "I'm busy."

Dean held up the pie, waving it back and forth. "Your boyfriend Mikey just came by," he informed Zoe sweetly. "I like him." The pie smelled really good. He could almost taste the cinnamon in the back of his mouth. Zoe stood on the stares and made a Bitchface at him that would have made Sam proud. "Hey, Sammy! Zoe's boyfriend brought pie!"

Sam emerged from Bobby's study wearing an expression of mild bewilderment, looking first to his smirking brother, then to his irate niece, hoping that someone would enlighten him. "Don't look at me!" Zoe growled. "I don't know what he's talking about."

"I'm talking about the red head with the glasses," Dean told her, voice still sweet as honey. "He brought you birthday pie."

"It's your birthday?" Sam asked, deciding that Zoe was slightly more in need of his attention than Dean. "Real one or the new one?"

"Real," Zoe muttered like she wanted the earth to just swallow her up. “It just kinda came up. I didn't think anyone was listening.”

“What do you wanna to to celebrate?” Sam asked. “We could go out to Biggersons.”

“Pass.” Zoe scurried back up the stairs, leaving Dean holding the pie and Sam staring up after her sadly.

“There is something really wrong with that kid,” Sam sighed, grabbing a set of keys off the hook. “Don't eat that pie until I get back.”

“Swear to God she just said she didn't wanna do anything.” Dean inhaled the delightful aroma of fresh apple pie, licking his lips. If that pie tasted half as good as it smelled... “Hey Cas, we got birthday pie!” he called, ignoring Sam's look as he went in search of Cas. It would be a damn shame to let such a good looking pie go to waste. Cas came up from the basement, paint on his new pants and speckled on his hands; he'd been touching up the symbols in the panic room. Dean showed him the pie, which failed to illicit the pleased response he'd been hoping for.

“Zoe's got a boyfriend,” Dean announced, sing-song, as he put the pie down and grabbed a knife. “He brought pie.”

“A... boyfriend,” Cas said flatly. He turned as Zoe slouched into the kitchen, grabbing the bucket of ice cream from the freezer and taking the knife from Dean. Dean backed off with a chuckle. “Who is this boy?”

“Mike?” Zoe sliced into the pie. “He's a boy in my class. He's alright. We hang out at lunch.” A slice was moved from pie tin to a plate. “Stop glaring like that, he's just a guy I know.” Cas grunted, getting another chuckle out of Dean while Zoe added the ice cream and devoured her slice of pie. “Where'd Sam go?”

“Sam thinks birthdays should be celebrated,” Dean pointed out, enjoying the way Zoe squirmed just a bit too much as he got himself a slice of pie. “Do us all a favor and humor him. He'll just get more and more obnoxious until he gets his way.”

So may issues,” Zoe muttered.

The pie was perfect. “Oh my God, do not screw things up with this boy.”

There wasn't any pie left by the time Sam came back, not that he cared. He came back into the house looking exceptionally pleased with himself and holding something wrapped in his coat that squirmed and whined as he hunted through the house. He found Zoe out back, holding the ladder for Dean as the he helped Cas on the roof. Zoe shot Sam an apprehensive look, her eyes drawn to the squirming bundle. Sam smiled, unwrapping the coat and letting out the puppy. It looked like it was mostly Golden Retriever, adorably sweet with it's big brown eyes, floppy ears that just begged to be rubbed and paws that were far too big for it's body. The puppy whined and leaned up against Sam's legs until Sam crouched down, ruffling it's ears.

“I know you said you didn't want anything,” Sam explained, “but I thought... anyway, there was this woman in the parking lot who was giving away puppies, and I thought you might like this little lady.” He smiled hopefully at Zoe, who looked utterly unimpressed by the gift.

“Sam, tell me you didn't get a dog!” Dean called down from the roof, leaning over to look at his little brother. Sam just held up the puppy, who joined the younger Winchester in making adorable faces at Dean.

“It's not like Bobby didn't used to have dogs here,” Sam reminded him. “Besides, a pet might be good for Zoe.”

“Ooooh no, that is not mine,” Zoe insisted, backing off. “That dog is yours. I want nothing to do with it.” Sam and the puppy turned their matching adorable expressions on the girl, but she remained unimpressed. “What happened to Bobby's dogs anyway?”

“They got eaten by a rougarou,” Sam reluctantly admitted, stroking the puppy's ears.


Days later, Castiel walked along the edge of the roof as easily as Dean would have walked on the sidewalk, checking for spots that might still need to be fixed. Dean watched from the ground, one hand resting lightly on the ladder as Sam's puppy, who he'd finally dubbed Sophie when he was finally willing to admit that Zoe wasn't going to claim the dog, gnawed on an old sneaker on the porch. Movement just outside his field of vision drew his attention away from Cas; Bobby had just pulled in, looking more grim than usual. Dean knew exactly what that look meant. Sam had been getting the basement ready since last night. Bobby had just been out picking up the last few things they needed for this exercise in potentially catastrophic madness.

Cas leaped from the roof and landed as gracefully as an gymnast, bypassing the ladder completely. He rested a hand on Dean's shoulder, a brief reassurance before he started walking towards the town. No one wanted Castiel anywhere near the salvage yard for what they were about to do. Cas would be able to get into town before the finished setting up.

What they were planning was a huge risk in and of itself, but they were taking no chances with the actual summoning.

Sam was still in the basement, preparing the summoning circle. The basement smelled of sage and oil, and in theory all spiritual traces of anyone who had passed through the house had been erased by the cleansing rituals Sam had been going through since last night. Every entrance was lined with goofer dust and salt, all the devil's traps were checked and double checked. Now there was just one thing left to do.

After all the prep work, actually summoning Crowley was an anti-climatic affair. Bobby spoke the summoning, and there he was in the middle of the circle, dressed in a dark well tailored suit. There was nothing to herald Crowley's arrival, not a gout of flame or a puff of sulpherous smoke. The lights didn't even flicker.

The King of Hell glanced at the devil's trap above him, then around the basement. “Really now, don't you think this has gotten a little old?” Crowley arched an eyebrow, smirking as he clasped his hands behind his back and waited expectantly. “So, what's this reunion about? Another relative bite it? World ending again? Betrayed by a trusted ally?”

“Lets talk about our old buddy Meg, Crowley,” Dean suggested. Technically, the expression he turned on the demon was a smile. His lips were upturned, and there were certainly teeth visible.

“A, sweet Meg. Is she pulling your pigtails again?” Crowley clucked his tongue with mock sympathy. “And you want me to do – what? Put her in detention? Give her a stern talking to, perhaps?”

“I was thinking more along the lines of head on a pike,” Bobby grunted. “Something tasteful I can put up in my yard.”

Crowley started laughing, harsh and entirely without humor. “I've got bigger problems than Meg's little revenge quest, in case you haven't noticed.” Crowley noted the circle of blank faces and ran a hand over his face. “Of course, you don't know, do you. You've been so busy playing happy families-” Crowley shook his head. “It's like talking to baboons. I get more understanding from my hounds.”

“Meg's after something that'll let her topple you from your throne,” Sam pointed out, earning himself a pitying look from the demon.

“Of course she is. But,” Crowley held up a finger, “she's not going to get it, because you three are going to kill her.” He rolled his eyes. “Of course, given your track record, maybe I should be placing my money on Meg.” Crowley had a shark's smile as he paced the edges of the summoning circle below his feet, studying the devil's trap that remained persistently in place above. “Lucky for you, I've got better things to do with my time than watch you all try to tear each other apart. So, what can I do to speed this along?” The three hunters watched Crowley with undisguised suspicion as he paced. “Ah-hah, I know just the thing. It just so happens that I once again happen to know where the Colt is.”

It was like the bottom suddenly dropped out of the world, leaving Dean free-falling in the void. The last time he'd seen the Colt, Dean had failed to kill Lucifer. He'd dropped the gun that was supposed to be able to kill anything in that cemetery, and when he'd finally been able to go back, days later, the Colt had been gone. Dean had thought Lucifer had destroyed the gun.

“Why would you give us the Colt again?” Sam demanded. “After everything?”

“Believe me or not, it's your decision.” Crowley spread his hands, palms up. “But remember, you called me. If there's one thing I've learned from watching you overgrown orangutangs, it's that revenge is a fool's game. Now, if you don't want the Colt, I'll just be on my way.”

Bobby, Sam, and Dean exchanged a silent look. They didn't need to actually say anything to each other, not about this.

“Alright, where's it stashed?” Dean leaned against the washing machine, ignoring the vibration of his cell phone in his back pocket.

If Crowley heard the phone, he didn't acknowledge it. “You'll find a witch living outside of Mesa, Arizona. Lucas Pritchard. He was given stewardship of the Colt after you dropped the damn thing. He's gone a bit... crazy survivalist since then, shooting at anyone who gets close. Now, if we're done here...?” He nodded towards the circle keeping him trapped. Bobby tossed an oil soaked rag at the devil's trap on the ceiling, breaking the circle. Crowley continued to smile his shark smile, even as he reached into his jacket and pulled out a cigar. “Before I forget.” He tossed it to Dean and disappeared as silently as he'd come.

Fuck,” Dean whispered. There was a pink band wrapped around the cigar, It's A Girl! spelled out in big, friendly letters. He finally pulled out his cell, noting two missed calls and a text; one from Sheriff Mills, another and the text from Zoe.

vp saw cas at school where r u?


Dean had expected all kinds of things when he pulled up to the Sioux Falls Middle School's front entrance, with Cas in handcuffs in the back of the police car being first and foremost among them. Cas laying waste to teachers and cops alike was a close second.

Cas was sitting on the front steps of the school, next to Zoe, with the girl clinging tightly to his hand. Sheriff Mills and a woman in a cheap gray pants suit who looked incredibly embarrassed as she spoke to Jody, darting glances at Cas. The sheriff spotted Dean and waved him over, her expression carefully blank. He had to hand it to Jody, she was a master of the Stone Face. “Seems we've had a bit of a to do over your buddy here, Dean.”

“Mister, ah, Winchester?” The woman in the suit extended a hand. “Leslie Witt, I'm the vice-principal.” She smiled weakly at Dean, keeping her voice low as she spoke. “I understand that readjusting to civilian life can be difficult for returning soldiers.”

“Yeah,” Dean agreed quickly, glancing at Cas at the same time Ms. Witt did. Their eyes met briefly, and Dean flashed him a grin. Zoe caught the look at stuck her tongue out at him. “Yeah, it's been a big adjustment for everyone.”

“I know Zoe's very fond of her Uncle Cas,” Ms. Witt went on, radiating earnestness, “but he can't just wander around the campus any time he feels like. It's a safety issue, you understand.”

“I'm sure Mr. Winchester can impress on Cas how important this is,” Jody put in helpfully. Dean nodded, and Ms. Witt relaxed a little.

“In light of his condition, I'm willing to let Mister, ah, Cas off with a warning, just this once. But if I catch him here again, I'll have to have him arrested for trespassing. I've already explained this all to him, but I'm not sure how much he really understood.”

“I'll make sure he gets it,” Dean said, using his most reassuring voice, gesturing for Cas to get in the damn car already. Zoe came with him, still clinging to his hand.

Tags: castiel, dean winchester, dean/cas big bang, sam winchester, supernatural

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