cloudy_fic: (angstyboys by soul_flowers)
[personal profile] cloudy_fic
Title: Second Life, First Christmas
Author: CloudyJenn
Fandom: Supernatural, The Avengers
Pairings: Dean/Castiel
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word Count: approx. 3,600
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. I am making no profit from this fanfiction.
Warnings: This is a fusion with Avengers, so only SPN characters appear. It's not explicitly necessary to have seen The Avengers, but it might make some details more clear.
Summary: Dean just wants Castiel's first Christmas in the new century to be a good one.
Author's Notes: I wanted to write this fusion for awhile now and since I'm currently obsessed with the Avengers, I realized it was the perfect time. I took elements of Avengers' various canons and twisted them to suit my needs, so try not to read it as an exact copy. My thanks to kagekanecavi for suggesting the character I should use for Thor. I ended up rather liking the choice!

Dean loved Christmas.

He could give a shit about the beliefs behind the whole thing, but he loved parties, decadent food and spending thousands of dollars on expensive gifts. In point of fact, Dean loved doing that stuff all year long, but no one judged him for doing it around Christmas time. Winchester Christmas parties had grown a reputation since Dean took over the company and started doing exactly what he wanted to do. Guests usually left with bags full of pricey jewelry or electronics, bottles of fine wines and a dazed look on their faces.

This year would have to top them all because it was the Captain's first Christmas in the new century.

"I'm just saying," Dean said as he dictated to Anna what he wanted for the party, “the last time he saw Christmas, it was 1944; he was in Europe during a war and it was probably depressing as fuck. So we need to lighten the mood."

"So you think..." Anna consulted her list to read, "Sexy elf strippers would best accomplish that?"

"What, you think they had strippers when they were fighting the Nazis?" Dean said challengingly.

"I don't think they did and especially not ones dressed like elves," Anna agreed, making a note on her list to apologize to the Captain later for the coming travesty.

"I mean, I know he likes simple stuff," Dean said. He paced from one end of his lab to the other, the arc reactor under his shirt easily visible through the simple white shirt he wore. The striped plaid shirt and brown leather jacket he'd use to cover the effect lay discarded nearby. In his domain, this lab where he'd invented most of Winchester Industries biggest money makers, Dean didn't have to hide.

"I'm not suggesting we invite half the city and pour champagne on people and get the cops called on us-"

"You mean like last year?" Anna interrupted.

"I want a classy shindig, a really elegant kinda y'know old-fashioned dance thing that Cap would like," Dean explained as though Anna hadn't spoken, waving his hands in a fashion he seemed to believe indicated elegance and simplicity.

"Alright. I'll see about finding a way to make elf strippers classy, sir," Anna deadpanned.

"Get out of here," Dean ordered.

He was pretty sure the only reason Anna obeyed him was because she wanted to leave anyway.


"Captain! Captain, may I have a word with you?"

Castiel paused in his journey towards the exercise room to turn and wait for Samandriel to jog up by his side. "Of course. Is something wrong?"

"Not exactly wrong, but I was confused by the appearance of a large fir tree in the entrance hall of the mansion. Before I came to speak with you, members of the Winchester staff were placing colored balls on it. Is this a mourning ritual? Has someone died?"

A smile threatened Castiel's lips, but didn't quite appear. "Actually, the opposite. It's a Christmas tree. It's part of a celebration to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the central figure of one of Earth's major religions."

"Was he born under the tree?"

"No, it's..." Really quite complicated, now that Castiel thought about it. "It might be easier if we found you a book about it."
Samandriel looked relieved. "Thank you, Captain. We have a great deal of feast days and celebrations on Asgard; I understand how important they are. I don't want to cause offense to anyone."

Castiel doubted Samandriel would manage to offend anyone living in the mansion. Even if they did take offense, none of them would say anything. Samandriel looked small, but he could wield a hammer that very nearly defeated the strength of Castiel's shield during their initial misunderstanding.

"I'm sure you'll be fine. Come on, I'll show you the library Sam showed me a few weeks ago. It has a computer too," Castiel added. It'd been four months since he'd awoken from a decades-long sleep to find himself in a bright, noisy and impossible future, but he still couldn't get over those computers. When he painstakingly typed out an email to SHIELD headquarters, Castiel could only think that his entire past would be so different if he could have sent an instant message halfway around the world when Balthazar had gone missing.

"I enjoy the computer," Samandriel confided. "It's not practical, but Dean created an account for me for twitters and so I can see what my beloved Ruby is doing during her day."

Castiel frowned. He wasn't sure what twitters meant. Dean had tried to show Castiel so much in recent weeks that most of it blurred together.

"I only do email myself. I'm still learning."

"Oh, is the computer something they did not have during your times?"


"But they had Christmas trees?"

A memory surfaced of a cold Christmas Eve in Brooklyn, a flimsy tree with a few paltry gifts under it, Balthazar huddled with him under a blanket as they talked about what they’d want for Christmas if they were rich. His lips twitched a faint smile.

"Yes, Christmas is a very old holiday."

Castiel led them into the library, Samandriel making a beeline for the bank of computers lined along one wall. While he punched the keys with his pointer fingers and found articles to read, Castiel browsed the physical books, preferring the familiarity of paper under his hands. He still had so much to learn. If he thought of it as 'catching up', Castiel felt tremendously overwhelmed. Instead, he forced himself to categorize it as learning history. There was plenty of history from before 1945 that he hadn't known at the time. Reading a book about the politics of the 1960s was not much different than reading about the English Reformation when you got right down to it.

He'd been settled in with a volume about the films of Alfred Hitchcock for about half an hour when Samandriel made a distressed noise in the back of his throat.

"Something wrong?"

"Midgardians exchange presents during Christmas. Is there still time to find gifts?" he asked, eyes wide.

"It's only the 19th and Christmas is the 25th, so yes. But you know, not everyone celebrates Christmas. You're not from here or a member of that religion, so you'd probably be safe not to participate."

Samandriel cocked his head, considering this statement. "Then Christmas is not important?"

"Well, it's just not required, but people like it. It's...festive, I suppose is the word," Castiel said. He understood why Samandriel felt comfortable asking Castiel these questions; they were both a fish out of water, after all. He just felt that someone more in touch with culture would be a better choice, like Dean. "It's something people do with their families. Even if you don't really believe in the religious aspects," as he expected Dean did not, "It's a time to focus on loved ones."

"I see," Samandriel said quietly, eyes now dark with that complicated sadness Castiel had learned to associate with Samandriel's troubled brother. He lifted them to contemplate Castiel. "And if it is not possible to be with your family?"

Castiel broke eye contact quickly, glancing away to look at a shelf of books, but instead seeing gray muck, fallen bodies and the flash of gunfire. When he'd been so far from home last year, he'd thought nothing could compare to the aching longing to be back in the warmth of his family and friends.

And then he'd been revived to discover they were long gone and forgotten by this world.

"I don't know."


"I really hate this guy," Dean confided to Sam.

Sam responded by picking Dean up in his massive green hands, the Iron Man suit's weight not fazing Sam while in Hulk mode, and flinging his brother head first at their enemy.

"Thanks!" Dean shouted back, sarcasm translating even over the clicking monotone of Iron Man's voice. As he zoomed toward the towering possessed robot built by The Leviathan, Dean thought about his Christmas gift for Castiel. The Captain already had all the little gadgets and gizmos every 21st person needed, provided for him personally by Winchester Industries. He had clothes, a car and motorcycle and a roof over his head. Dean had already gotten him all that stupid shit.

"Iron Man!" Dean glanced down to see a blur of blue and red that indicated Captain America had arrived at the base of the robot. He wished Cas would let Dean be near the feet. Super soldier or not, he could still be crushed. But Cas insisted that Dean knew the updated exorcism spells better than Cas and his flying capabilities would make it easier to say them while avoiding the hands.

Dean thought Cas just said that so he could get out of being thrown by the Hulk.

"Yeah, yeah," Dean shouted back down. "I'm ready."

The Latin spilled past his lips without much thought on Dean's part as he dodged the robot's flailing hands, repulsors working overtime. Maybe Cap would like something personal, like a nice gold watch. Or he could get Castiel one of those full day packages at an exclusive spa.

Right, because that's exactly what a hardened World War II vet would like. To be scrubbed down with essential oils while pansy ass music played in the background.

Jesus, shopping for Captain America was hard.

Once the spell finished, a massive wave of black smoke exploded out the mouth of the robot and down below him, Cas began smashing the shit out of the newly vacated and now fairly useless machine. A second later, Samandriel swooped in with his hammer, soon followed by Hulk and Jo. Dean had no idea where Victor was. Probably on a roof somewhere searching for any hint of Dick Roman aka The Leviathan.

Between the four of them, the rest of the team dragged the robot down to smash its power center before Dean even landed.

"Good job, guys," Dean said. A beat later, Castiel added, "Yes, an adequate performance."

Though no one could see it, Dean was grinning behind his mask. Growing up worshipping the hero of America, the very definition of commanding leadership who'd actually earned unreserved praise from his father, hadn't prepared Dean for learning how fucking awkward Castiel Novak could be.

"Gee, thanks," Jo snarked as she stuck her small gun somewhere out of sight and really, someday Dean was going to figure out how she hid anything in that skintight black jumpsuit. "Is that the last one?"

"For now," Castiel said grimly.

"Right! Then it's time for pie," Dean announced. He opened the small storage compartment he'd built into the suit's abdomen region to withdraw the satchel containing Sam's pants and shirt. His brother hated morphing back down to his smaller self with nothing to wear. "Here, big guy." Dean never called Sam by name when he was the Hulk because Sam hated that too. He hadn't yet come close to accepting that angry destructive side of himself. "Meet us back at the Tower."

Jo had disappeared when Dean wasn't paying attention and Samandriel elected to fly back to the Tower, leaving Dean alone with Cas. He opened his face mask and gave Cas a shit-eating grin. "You wanna ride?"

The first time Dean had said those words to Castiel, a very interesting flush arose on his pale cheeks. Dean attributed it to the 40s attitude, but he couldn't be sure and he couldn't really stop trying to see it happen again.

To his disappointment, Castiel only lifted an eyebrow at him before stepping up onto Iron Man's foot and wrapping an arm around his waist. Dean lifted them slowly so Castiel could hear him talk over the wind in their face.

"So if a guy with let's say, limitless funds and pretty much no moral objection to anything wanted to buy you a Christmas present, what would you tell him to get?"

"You don't have to buy me a Christmas gift, Dean," Castiel assured him. "I already received an invitation to your party. That is enough."

"No, it's not," Dean disagreed. "Look, I was the first one to think this whole team thing was stupid-"

"You still think it's stupid," Castiel interjected, his voice close and warmed with a hint of affection that Dean liked more than he should.

"No, what I think is that things would run better if everyone did what I said," Dean corrected. "But the point I'm trying to make is that we're teammates now and so you're getting a goddamned Christmas present from me. Now what do you want?"

Castiel remained silent for so long that Dean thought about threatening to drop Cas if he didn't talk. But eventually an answer came, leaving Dean momentarily speechless.

"A scarf."

"...excuse me?"

"The mansion is quite cool," Castiel said. "I don't like being cold." And that sentence held a heavier tone that had Dean biting off the mockery he'd almost spewed. Instead, his brain began cranking out plans, starting with tackling the heat problem with Castiel's rooms. It distracted him so much Dean didn't even notice they'd stayed quiet the rest of the way back. He only realized when he was setting Castiel's feet on the ground once more.

"And what do you want?" Castiel asked, almost shyly, his blue eyes even more shockingly vivid against the dark blue of his uniform.

Shy Captain America. Yeah, history had completely gotten the story wrong when it came to this man.

"For Christmas? Don't worry about it, man. I got more money than God. If I wanted it, I'd have it," he said.

At least when it came to objects.

"It's not fair-"

"Dude. Seriously, don't even bother. Just come to the party and promise me you'll drink with the rest of us."

"Very well. But I should warn you; since taking the serum, alcohol doesn't have an appreciable effect on me," Castiel said placidly.

Of course not.

"Then you can drink twice as much," Dean declared. "Awesome. C'mon, pie awaits."

If Dean happened to walk closer to Captain America than the rest of his teammates, no one commented on it.


Despite what Dean had said, Castiel did end up getting a gift for the man and not just because he felt accepting a gift without giving one was selfish. Castiel honestly wanted to show Dean his appreciation. To say they'd gotten off on the wrong foot didn't begin to describe the strength of Dean's visceral dislike of Castiel when they first met. To come from that tense relationship to this odd friendship, even living under the same roof, meant a great deal to Castiel. His stipend from SHIELD along with many years of back pay was sufficient to procure the small wrapped package he hid in the branches of the massive tree in the Winchester's ball room.

"Castiel, hello," Anna greeted him warmly, leaning up to press a soft kiss to his cheek. "Merry Christmas."

Castiel liked Anna Milton. She knew how to talk Dean down when he wanted to charge into situations, guns blazing and a creative variety of curses at the ready. He sometimes found himself wondering if they were romantically involved. Often, actually.

"Merry Christmas. This room looks very nice."

The giant ground to ceiling tree was one of fourteen trees. The others were smaller, but no less stuffed with decoration, each sporting a large pile of gifts underneath. Streamers, tinsel, baubles, mistletoe, wreaths and every other kind of Christmas decoration imaginable were spread throughout the room in such an aesthetically pleasing manner that Castiel guessed Anna had more to do with the arrangement than Dean.

"Thanks. I had to twist Dean's arm to get him to let me cancel the Elf strippers."

Castiel frowned. "That...sounds like it was for the best."

"Hmmm, yes."

As more people poured into the ballroom, each one dressed to the nines and bearing even more presents, Castiel allowed himself to be pushed back along the wall. He wasn't used to this kind of party. His Christmases had always been spent with his father and Balthazar and later, Balthazar's girlfriend Sarah.

But Castiel did enjoy seeing his teammates letting loose and having fun. Samandriel had obviously picked up the idea of Christmas quickly. He'd shown up with Ruby, his boisterous crew of Asgardian friends and multiple presents for everyone he knew. Sam sat in a quiet corner with his pretty blond-haired girlfriend Jess, intense focus zeroed in on her. Jo and Victor disappeared and reappeared amongst the crowd with typical unusual grace, always sticking close to each other. Castiel knew for a fact that they were romantically involved because he'd accidentally walked in on them at a moment he'd rather have not witnessed.
In the excitement of cheerful greetings, exchange of presents and Christmas music that Castiel soon realized was all recorded prior to 1945, no one seemed to notice that Dean was missing.

"Anna? Where's Dean?"

"He's out on the balcony. He told me he wanted some fresh air and that I could casually drop that information to you," she said with a slight eye roll. "In other words, he wants to give you your present in private."

Castiel didn't question the way his stomach fluttered as he went to search for Dean on the balcony Anna mentioned. He found Dean sitting on a stone bench, knee jumping up and down, eyes on the ground.


"Hey!" He popped up. "What are you doing out here? I mean, hi. I mean, Merry Christmas." Dean all but covered his mouth with his hand in a visible effort to halt his flow of words. "Jesus." Then he winced. "Sorry. Fuck me, Cas."

Heat flashed through Castiel's body at those words. Cursing and crude language was not new to him, no matter what people in this time period seemed to think. But some phrases still threw him off-guard.

"That's...not what I think it means, right?"

Dean's eyes widened. "Shit, no! I mean. No. God, we gotta get you a curse dictionary or something. C'mere. Sit." Castiel joined Dean as he re-sat on the bench alongside a large box tied up with brown string. The quiet outside offered relief after the loud press of voices and movement inside. "I got you this," Dean said, picking up the box and placing it in Castiel's lap.

"Thank you, Dean. It really wasn't necessary-"

"Shut up and open it."

Castiel didn't mind when Dean said things like that because they both knew that Castiel could crush Dean under his thumb.

"Very well."

The box wasn't wrapped and the strings loosely tied, so it took only a moment to open it. Castiel stared at the contents for a long moment, his heart giving an odd twist in his chest.

"Is it okay? You said you were cold and I thought you'd be more comfortable in something familiar. If you hate it, that's okay, we can get you another one. Or you can have something else, that's fine too-"


For a man who exuded authority, Dean so easily gave way under Castiel's soft words. It thrilled a secretive and rarely indulged part of Castiel.

"I love it," he said, lifting out the dark tan trench coat. The material felt heavy, substantial and warm and the style...there was nothing of the modern about it. None of those mutated versions of styles he remembered, the throw-back designs that felt too different to mean anything to Castiel. This coat was authentically 1940s, a perfect copy of the coats men wore when Castiel had been where he first belonged. "Dean, it's wonderful."

"Yeah?" A bright pleased smile Castiel had never before seen transformed Dean's face. His cares disappeared, making him look younger. "I got Anna to find this costume expert and she made this with your measurements, so it should fit just right and she promised me it was the right time period-"

"It's perfect," Castiel confirmed. He stood to shrug into the coat. The cold air crisping the December night immediately retreated from the coat's warmth. Castiel held out both arms. "How do I look?"

Dean's gaze trailed from Castiel's shoulders down to his shoes and he shifted forward, bringing his knees together. "Yeah, it's...that's good," he said in a low growl.

There were things about the 21st century that while not universally accepted were much less restricted than when Castiel had grown up. And those kinds of things, he thought to himself, were often inevitable.

"You're not romantically involved with Anna, are you?" Castiel asked quietly.

"What? No." Dean's eyebrows drew together in confusion. "Why'd you ask?"

Castiel sat beside Dean again, much closer, sharing his new-found warmth. "This is what I wanted for Christmas," he said instead of answering Dean's question. "Not the coat, although it is wonderful."

"Then what?"

"I wanted to be with loved ones," Castiel said, leaning hard against Dean's side.

Dean only let one moment pass before he carefully lifted his arm over Castiel's shoulders and drew him even closer. "It's cold out here," he said, voice thick with something he forced to sound like grumpiness. Castiel wasn't convinced. "Quit hogging all the body heat."


Castiel listened to the music playing inside the Tower for a short time before speaking again. "I got you a Pie of the Month club membership for Christmas."



"...that might be the greatest present I've ever gotten."

"I thought you might appreciate it."

For the first time since he woke up, the voices of his former life quieted enough for Castiel to enjoy that moment, that gift of time unburdened by an uncertain future and a too distant past.

"Merry Christmas, Dean."

"You too, Cas."
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