Title: Hell Hath No Furry...
Characters/Pairing: Dean, Sam, Castiel
Word count: 3040
Spoilers: this takes place sometime in the middle of season 5. I don't have a specific spot. Be warned!
Summary: Sam and Dean are changed into the cutest kittens in creation. Cas puts them in his pockets and crap goes down.
Author notes: This is in response to mimblexwimble 's prompt ("Sam and Dean have turned into the cutest kittens in all of creation. Castiel keeps them in his trenchcoat pockets.") in dante_s_hell 's comment fic meme. Great thanks also go to lavinialavender for being my beta. She made sure that my grammar didn't suck and that my messed up tenses could relax.
Author Note Extra!: Now also a lovely podfic by cookiemom6067.
So, here it is
Castiel felt the ancient Egyptian transmogrifying magic swell and strike the second before he burst through the door and skidded to a halt between the Winchesters and the raging goddess.
Bastet looked pissed. Her hair frizzed up, almost standing on end, her teeth were bared, and she kept flexing her fingers as though she wanted to unsheathe her claws and rip into things. Like Sam and Dean behind him.
"You’re going to have to go through me to hurt them,” Cas said as he set his angel-killing weapon to a better angle. He sounded deadpan, emotionless and confident, but internally he weighed the odds: ancient Egyptian lioness protector of children and patroness of perfume versus medium-rank, out-of-shape fallen angel.
Happily, the odds weren’t that bad. Well, they didn’t exactly favor him, but compared to some of the things Cas had gone up against for the Winchesters (demon hordes, archangels, Horsemen), one goddess wasn’t that bad.
But it wasn’t to be. “Don’t get your feathers in a twist, bird-boy,” Bastet snapped. “I’m not going to hurt your precious ‘chosen of the Allfather’.” She had incredibly sarcastic air quotes and the wrong mythology.
Cas blinked. “You mean the Almighty?”
“Whatever.” Bastet waved a dismissive, graceful hand.
Cas really wanted to correct her, point out that there is only one God and only one valid Apocalypse, but missionary work had never been his responsibility and getting Sam and Dean back on the right path was much more important.
“You have already hurt them,” he pointed out. “Change them back.”
Bastet’s hair smoothed out, and she relaxed and leaned back against the wall of her apartment with—well—feline grace. She tilted her head to look at the Winchesters. Cas moved to block her line of sight, but she smiled at him anyway.
“I have not hurt them at all,” she told him archly. “You really believe what they have become is less than what they were? Chill, Tweety, they’ll return to their original shapes shortly. They were just irritating me with all their pointless questions. As though I care about your stupid Apocalypse.” Then she smiled, like the cat who had gotten into the cream. “Besides, I think they’re cuter this way.”
Cas lowered, but did not sheathe, his blade. “You mean that they will change back on their own?”
“Probably. Maybe.” Bastet tossed back her hair. “Whatever.”
She turned to swung one leg out the window. A breath later, the Egyptian cat-goddess was gone—yet another dead end to finding a way to end the Apocalypse.
Slowly, uncertain of what he should do, the angel turned to Sam and Dean where they lay stunned from the cat-goddess’s power. Anti-possession tattoos, anti-angel engravings, and general luck and intelligence were still no defense against the powers some of the old gods could wield.
Where just minutes ago had been two good-looking, tall and competent young men now sat two unhappy little balls of fluff.
Both were mewling miserably, trying to stumble around on cute little legs not quite strong enough to take their weight. They were so adorable that Castiel felt some unnamed emotion rise up and swamp most of his cognitive abilities. He had no idea what it was called. It was not Love, as he had once had for his Heavenly Father, nor Hate, as he felt for most of the angels who turned away from that Love—whether they became fallen or continued to call themselves servants of Heaven. The emotion wasn’t Pity or Disgust, as he felt for demons, nor Hunger, nor Despair, nor Amusement—all fairly recent emotions, mostly caused by Dean. No, if he had to describe this one, he would have said it was Oh-My-God-It’s-So-Cute! But that was far too cumbersome.
While the angel thought about Love, the kittens scrabbled around on the floor.
Even in kitty years, Dean was older and already had his eyes open. Through sheer force of will, he pulled himself up on his shaky legs and stumbled to where his brother kept meowing forlornly. Sam had closed eyes, fur sticking straight out, and kept looking desperately for the one person who mattered most to him in the world.
Dean found him and licked his head with his long pink tongue. Cas watched as Sam realized instantly who it was and stopped crying. The Winchesters curled up next to each other, abruptly relaxed after their transformation. Dean was the only one who could see, and it took him a minute to realize that they had an audience. He glared and hissed.
The angel could not speak cat, but he could understand Dean. What the hell are you looking at? We are not cute!
Castiel picked up the kittens who had started the Apocalypse and tucked them into his side pockets.
He walked a block, but the kittens were mewling angrily, squirming so much apart that he eventually put them both in the same pocket, where they curled around each other and promptly went to sleep. It stretched his pocket and unbalanced him, but at least he didn’t have howling Winchesters in his pockets. Cas sighed. He looked like he had robbed a pet store.
But when he looked down at the little black and ivory balls of fluff, he decided there was no use fighting it any more.
“Oh Lord my God,” he said heavily. “They are so cute.” He was glad the Winchesters couldn’t hear him.
At first, Castiel couldn’t figure out how to feed them. He had never done much animal husbandry out of heaven, and he was pretty sure cherubim didn’t count. So, he bought a cheeseburger, a Coke, and a carton of milk and checked into a seedy hotel so the boys could feel at home.
Cas unwrapped the cheeseburger, poured the milk and Coke into mutilated hotel cups, and then placed the two bundles of fuzzy cuteness onto the table with their dinner.
Dean went straight for the cheeseburger, his wobbly little legs carrying him halfway across the table faster than Cas could believe. Just an inch away from the food, Dean looked back and meowed.
Sam was still crouched where Cas had put him, staring woefully into nothing, eyes still blind.
Without hesitation, Dean went back, grabbed his brother by the scruff of the neck, and pulled him to the milk cup, almost dumping Sam’s head into the whole thing.
It was ridiculous, watching one fuzzy black kitten dragging the fuzzy gray one—already the same size—anywhere, but Cas saw it as proof that some of the Winchesters’ minds remained in the little kitty brains. Dean always went back to Sam, Sam always needed Dean. Some things, for the Winchesters, remained constant across time, space and species.
Soon, Sam lost his blindness, and both Winchesters rapidly matured into the lean, gangly, clumsy kitten stage.
Dean was all black, with a white ring around his left paw, a white splotch on his forehead—something between an angelic mark and a squashed star—and a white human handprint across his shoulder where Cas had dragged him out of Hell.
Sam—already taller than his older, more compact brother—was creamy off-white, with faded black markings that reminded Cas disturbingly of demonic sigils. They clung like dusty cobwebs all over his otherwise uniform coat. He also had a deep scar in the middle of his back where the hair had come up pure white. The only other mark was a solid black, lumpy diamond on his forehead, like Dean’s squashed star, but in the reversed color.
Cas hated to say that when they were all cuddling, he was always more hesitant to touch Sam, less willing to run his fingers through the demonic marks left from demon blood, madness and all the evils Sam had survived.
Sam cleaned himself constantly, licking at the gray marks with his wet, pink tongue as though trying to wash off a stain he could never quite reach. Cas found it disturbing—and it took a lot, generally, to disturb him—that the marks did look fainter after Sam had run his tongue over them a couple hundred times.
Cas found it was easiest to feed the Winchesters by carrying them—in that one crowded pocket—to a restaurant and letting them forage for their own food. Sometimes they would go for scraps, or find the garbage bin out back, but usually putting two ridiculously cute kittens in a confined area with women elicited squeals of delight and offers of food, sometimes even the beloved cheeseburger. Castiel was rather glad humans could also experience Oh-God-It’s-So-Cute! It made him feel less…silly.
Dean, as always, soaked up the attention. He would curl up against the chest of a righteously hot girl and purr so hard she would giggle and say he was tickling her. But she usually didn’t let go, just cuddled him closer.
Sam was touchier. He would let a person pet him for a minute, take the milk or the ham sandwich, but eventually he got twitchy and made his escape. If anyone chased him, he would dart under the table rather than be held again. Sometimes, when his gangly, clumsy legs wouldn’t let him escape, he turned to hiss and claw at anyone stupid enough to get close. After oppressive fathers, manipulative demon-bitches, and overbearing angels, Sam was willing to tolerate few connections. Cas was surprised, but grateful, that the young Winchester allowed him the occasional scratch behind the ears.
Once, when Sam bit a clinging blond woman, she threw him against a wall. Sam hit hard, unable to twist in time, and was injured and stunned by the impact. When the bitch went to step on him, Dean launched himself out of the arms of his current lady and straight at the offending woman’s head, hissing and spitting in rage, clawing for her eyes.
In the micro-bloodbath that followed, Cas and the kittens barely escaped intact. For the rest of the evening, Dean did nothing but lick his brother’s back and head, until he was satisfied that Sammy was okay.
With the Winchesters out of their usual gun-and-knife wielding shapes, Castiel tried to play it safe and keep out of sight of any angelic or demonic powers. He loved the kittens, even Sam, and he couldn’t let anything happen to the adorable—but still badass—brothers.
But no one could be lucky forever. One night, when they were once again sharing a dingy hotel room—Cas had learned both how to use Dean’s credit cards and to smuggle cats into a No Pets! room—the brothers went mousing, and Cas got jumped by a demon.
Usually, the servants of Satan weren’t that hard to deal with, but this one had come prepared. She had the spunky blond-and-busty look that would have attracted Dean, the brains to at least interest Sam, and the holy oil for him.
Cas returned to the room from a cheeseburger run—in case the hotel was unusually vermin-free—and she was waiting for him. The second he stepped over the threshold, the flames came up around him.
Castiel felt the low, crawling fear the holy oil gave him. No matter how wide a cage, it never felt wide enough. He itched, as though the breath of the oil would scorch wings that were a metaphysical thought—at best—in this plane of existence.
She taunted him. She showed him her various instruments of torment and told him what she would do with them. She explained exactly what she would do to the Winchesters as well, when she found them. She promised to let him watch, if he survived that long.
In the middle of her gentle, cajoling, hideously detailed threats, Sam and Dean slipped through the window.
Cas was not glad to see them. He did his best to remain focused on the demon-bitch, anything so he would not look at the feline brothers. Anything to keep his last hope for the world—and, if he dared say it, his only friends—alive. The demon was clearly in a hurry, and he had hoped to be a corpse and black smudge of wings against the windows before the Winchesters returned.
Sam had puffed up to twice his normal size the second he saw the demon’s black eyes, but didn’t make a sound. He went left on his silent cat feet, while Dean went right, slinking through the shadows, keeping their wide, slitted eyes on the enemy.
The demon glanced to the side while setting down a nutcrusher and saw Sam. If anything, the ghost-colored cat puffed bigger, each hair sticking on end like an electrocuted stuffed toy. He hissed at her.
The demon raised her eyebrows at Cas.
“You’re keeping cute little kitties now?” she asked. “Oh my God, so pathetic.” She tilted her head to the side and licked her lips. “I could skin them for you, just to pass the time.”
Her eyes were locked on Cas, waiting for him to react. He met her black gaze, willing her to remain oblivious just a little longer. At some signal more instinct than communication, the Winchesters charged.
Sam went for the ankles, where strappy, red, heeled sandals were the only things between him and sensitive, structurally important tissue. Dean, always more ambitious—or less discerning—where women were concerned, clawed up her leg, past her miniskirt, and started trying to dig out her heart at blouse height.
The demon screamed in a very lady-like fashion and hit him again and again with all her force, as though trying to kill a huge mosquito. Dean dodged every time, so she ended up striking herself over and over in the chest, stomach, shoulders and crotch. Eventually Dean clawed his way to her face to get at her eyes and she went berserk, ripping at the furry threat and choking on his tail. She kicked Sam off, her leg flying up in imitation of the demonic chorus line. Cas had to admit that St. Vitus himself couldn’t have done it better. Sam bounced off the wall, hit the ground moving, and latched back onto her ankles.
He severed her hamstring just as she bit down on Dean’s tail. The older Winchester raked her scalp and leaped from her head just as—screaming even more and unable to support her weight—she collapsed straight into the flaming ring of holy oil.
Cas stabbed her in the back with Sam’s demon-killing knife as she writhed in the flaring, dying flames, and then climbed out of the circle over her twitching body.
Threat neutralized, the angel turned to find his cute, deadly bundles of fluff.
Dean was on top of the television licking his wounds, completely, totally unconcerned by the sputtering fire, the smoking corpse, and the shredded carpeting. His posture said: Demon? Whatever, I’m a cat.
Sam was nowhere in sight.
They found him eventually by following the faint choking noises coming from under the bed. Dean went in while Cas crouched to peer underneath the bedskirts.
Sam was curled up in the midst of the dust and candy wrappers, scrubbing miserably at his mouth. He made hairball-choking noises, but he was coughing and hacking up blood. Demon blood. It was on his paws, his muzzle, his back, his face, his belly. As Cas watched, the dark marks that Sam had tried so hard to lick away became a darker grey. If a cat could cry, Sam was weeping uncontrollably. When he saw Dean, Sam almost turned and fled, but Cas moved to block the exits.
Sam, even as a cat, showed a mess of fear, shame, misery and self-loathing. All of which Dean solved by squashing his little brother’s face to the floor with one big paw and calmly washing away the blood with his rough, pink tongue. When Sam squirmed and batted weakly at Dean’s head, Dean just squashed him harder and continued his work.
They stayed in the hotel overnight and were not bothered. Cas thought that probably the owners were too terrified to see if anyone had survived the battle. Two enraged cats—Winchesters, at that—could sound like the hordes of hell. Cas would know.
Sam and Dean went to sleep curled together on one pillow, their heads resting on each other’s backs. Sam’s coat was no darker than before, Dean was unworried, and both were at peace. Fused together, with their opposite head markings, they looked like a yin yang symbol drawn in fur and cuteness by a five year old .
That, Cas decided, was the greatest difference between human Sam and Dean and the kitty Winchesters. Both sets would do anything for their brothers: go to Hell, drink demon blood, end the world, fight family, demons, angels and whatever else was out there. But deprived of the cuteness and the fur, the casual gestures of affection were lost. What was instinctive for the kittens had long since been beaten or broken out of the brothers.
Maybe when the cat-curse wore off and their days in kittydom were done, the brothers would make it a joke. Sam might put a sticky note saying “I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?” on Dean’s forehead while he slept. Maybe when Sam said, “Jerk!”, Dean would answer with, “Kitty-cat!” But they wouldn’t talk about demon blood, or cute girls, or mousing. They wouldn’t look at each other too long, talk much, or touch each other except for basic things. Hand me that gun. Pass the popcorn. Help me lift this.
Human Sam would not let human Dean pounce on his tail when they were bored in the Impala. Human Dean would never lick the blood off Sam’s coat after a battle. They would never share the same pillow, curled up together like a lopsided yin yang, good and evil all bundled together in a peaceful, purring mass of tails and ears and dreams of catnip cheeseburgers.
And Castiel already regretted the loss when they returned to human form, not just of his Oh-So-Cute! kittens, but also of the peace the brothers had shared. Happiness was two kitties who so clearly loved each other, asleep and unafraid of Heaven or Hell. Happiness should, some day, belong to the Winchesters.
And, every story, at least for SPN has a wealth of tiny details that whether or not I want to get them %100 accurate, I want to at least try. And, I go through dozens of random thoughts, and thoroughly enjoy building inside jokes so “inside” that they are practically outside again. This little section is to share all of this, so you can see my (frightening) thought process and learn some random knowledge to impress your friends at the next SPN after-party.
And so, my footnotes (that are not actually noted in the story, sorry) are THUS:
BASTET—Chose this goddess to mess up Sam and Dean’s life because she was the first cat-goddess I could think of, and the Egyptians had so many theriomorphic AND anthromorphic (respectively, animal and human-shaped) forms that they seemed good for transformations. Yeah, maybe the Greek-Roman bunch actually did more human transformation, but never into cats, that I can remember, and I don’t like them anyway.
As a major mythology nut —I have a crappy draft of a Norse myth novella written, really fun, love the Norse—I wanted to make sure that I was portraying Bastet with nominal amounts of accuracy. So I hit Wikipedia. Turns out that she’s evolved so much over the course of Egyptian history that one could do pretty much anything they wanted with the character. She started out as a lioness-goddess, then changed to the domesticated cat goddess because of a cultural merger, and then ended up a goddess of perfume, basically because her name meant “female of the ointment jar.” Go figure.
As domestic cats were good mothers, Bastet was seen as protective and caring. Women who wanted children wore amulets showing Bastet with kittens, the number indicating the number of children the wearer desired.
CAS IS NOT A MISSIONARY—Nor has he ever been in a missionary position.
CHERUBIM—Lifted straight from my computer’s dictionary: a winged angelic being described in Biblical tradition as attending on God. It is represented in Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagle’s wings and a human face, and regarded in traditional Christian angelology as an angel of the second highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
I couldn’t think of anything else vaguely animal-like that would apply to Cas. And “Lamb of God” would be a tad too disrespectful.
SAM IS NOT A CALICO—When I was thinking about colorations for the brothers, I originally thought about giving Sam three, because he seemed so complex I wasn’t going to manage my beloved DEEP SYMPOLISM with just two. And then I remembered that male calico (three-colored) cats tend to be sterile. I eventually decided that that was NOT an undertone I wanted to throw into the story. And, trust me, if I had it in there, even though a fraction of the population probably would notice, I would want to play with it. So, he still has three colors, but I got away with it using scar tissue. Woot!
ST. VITUS—Patron saint of actors, comedians, dancers and, most interestingly, epileptics. When one refers to “St. Vitus’s dance” it means that it looks like they are having a violent seizure. Think about that, in context with the fight scene. Obscure, I know, but ever since The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I have love, love, loved throwing this saint in at every opportunity. He was just a footnote there, too. ☹
BEDSKIRTS—Pretty self explanatory, but I throw it in the footnotes because I had to look them up to make sure that’s what they were really called. Because “You know, those THINGS, like skirts, beneath beds,” really didn’t cut it.
YIN YANG—Okay, this was completely unintentional, but I really really like it, even though I’m probably butchering centuries of Chinese philosophy in the process.
Dean, the black cat, falls with the yin, the “passive female principal principal of the universe, characterized as…sustaining, associated with earth, dark, and cold” (my compy’s dictionary again). Yes, Dean is not a woman (in canon) but he does nurture, he is solid and set like the earth, he has been buried, gone cold to those he loves, etc.
Sam, as the pale cat thus becomes the yang: “the active male principal…characterized as male and creative and associated with heaven, heat and light.” He has anger issues and is destined to be possessed by a fallen angel also known as the Light-Bringer.
Sure, it’s not an exact match, but I enjoy the parallels that DO exist.
I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?—One must have a lolcat reference every once in a while. But I’m not actually that familiar with them. So I also had to check around.
Final note: I do not own SPN, nor gain money from this, or anything but happiness and writing practice. And I am not actually that familiar with kitten development. Any errors in the cat behavior herein contained can be explained either by 1) magic or 2) my ignorance. That, I did not fact-check. Enjoy!
A new development! I have written a timestamp (When an Angels Needs Cat Chow) here.