"Get back down here!"
"NO! Put that d--"
A giggly ball of feathered energy zoomed around the bunker, zapping in and out of rooms to end up on either a shelf or a table. Sam and Dean Winchester were running around uselessly, flapping their arms, trying to grab their infant Castiel. In case you're wondering... It was a hunt. Something went wrong. This was only temporary.
Dean plopped onto the couch, pure exhaustion etched onto his face. Sam was still running after the elusive baby angel. As Dean sat there, he wondered what the hell happened to Cas that turned him from that to a stoic, emotionless angel of the Lord.
Meanwhile, Sam thought he had Cas trapped in a corner of the kitchen. But the toddler was still smiling away. Sam took cautious movements closer to Cas and he wrapped his hands around him finally, but the angel decided to teleport just then. Sam was in the kitchen one moment, and then standing precariously on a stair railing on the upper level of the bunker. He gasped and jumped down onto the safer ground of the floor, the baby nowhere to be seen. Sam was clutching his chest, afraid he might of just had a heart attack. Now he was starting to get angry. He walked downstairs again to see Dean nearly passed out on the sofa. He sat next to him.
"You look like crap, Sammy..."
"You're not looking much better."
"What are we gonna do?" Dean heard the incessant flapping of wings from another room.
"I don't know. Do angel babies need to sleep? Maybe if we get him to take a nap for a while, he'll wake up and the spell would have worn off already."
"That could work, but how are we catching him in the first place?"
"I don't know..." Sam said again, feeling defeated. The brothers sat there, happy for the limited movement involved in it. Then a loud crash came from the other room.
"You're on your own, Sam," Dean stated and stood and headed for his room to hopefully get some shut-eye.
"Dean!" Sam yelled after him, but the older Winchester just saluted him. Sam groaned, standing up to check the damage. He walked in on Castiel sitting on the floor, the shards of a vase littering the floor, and he was staring fixedly at his hand. The classic expression of squinted eyes and a confused look decorated his little face. There was blood coming from the hand. That's when Sam ran over to the mess.
"Cas, what did you do?" Sam sighed. The angel looked up at him. The cut didn't seem to bother him, strangely.
"Alright, I'm gonna patch you up, okay?" Sam asked the angel, even though he knew it wouldn't make much of a difference. Sam picked up the young angel and held him close to his chest. He brought him to the bathroom. There he sat him down on the edge of the sink and took his hand to wash. The baby twitched when the water made contact with the cut, stinging a little bit.
Sam noticed and he apologized, "Sorry, Cas..."
The baby angel watched him as he worked, first dabbing the wound with a cloth and then wrapping it in a small tuft of cotton followed by a band-aid. Sam knew if this was adult Cas, he would just heal it himself. He didn't think this child knew how to do that yet.
"Feel better?" Sam asked, throwing out or putting away the used supplies. Cas nodded, looking at the foreign bandage on his hand. When Sam was finished, he picked up the kid again and took him to the living room. He set him down on the couch and he sat next to him.
"Want to do anything?" Sam asked. Castiel just looked at him for a while before smiling and saying, "Game!" Sam scratched the back of his head and said, "Okay... What game?"
"Hide 'n seek!" the angel cheered. Sam was surprised the angel even knew that game, since it was primarily for humans, he thought. The younger Winchester couldn't fight the smile that crept up on his lips.
"Okay, who do you want--"
"I'll hide!" Cas pointed to himself.
"Alright, but here are some rules: You can't fly in and out of the rooms when I'm looking for you. You have to walk or run. Okay? Otherwise, that's cheating. And try not to hurt yourself," Sam said. The angel nodded, eager to get the game going.
"30... 29... 28..." Sam closed his eyes and started to count down. He heard Cas gasp and the little patter of feet running across the wooden floor. He grinned as he counted. He soon hit zero and that's when Sam stood up.
Only a minute into the game, he realized he should have made the rules more strict, as in confine the rooms to which the angel could hide in. He started by looking in the downstairs rooms on the floor he was on. Nothing in the laundry room, nor the kitchen, nor his room. He walked around the corner to Dean's room. The door was shut. Sam knocked before entering.
Dean was sitting on his bed with headphones in his ears and a computer.
"Have you seen Cas?" Sam said loudly in case Dean didn't hear.
Sam nodded, turning to leave when he thought he heard a small squeak from somewhere. He turned back to face Dean on the bed. The younger one gave Dean a questioning look.
"What was that?"
"Oh, just had to clear my throat."
Sam wasn't buying it, and he fought a grin as he stepped into the room further.
"Dean, are you sure you didn't see Cas?"
"Positive. He was your responsibility, so he should be with you," Dean was an expert liar. But Sam could see his resolve cracking in the effort to look as nonchalant as possible.
"Positive?" Sam circled his brother's bed, looking for the flap of a black wing or the string of a trenchcoat out of the corner of his eye.
"Yes, now will you stop asking?"
Sam heard the noise again and it seemed to be coming from Dean's bed. That's what stumped him for a while, and then he smiled.
"I wonder where Cas is if he's not in here. I don't know if I'll ever find him," Sam played, stalking around the bed again. Dean's lip was quivering now, trying not to smile and give away his position.
"I don't think he'd be in here... Unless Dean's lying to me," Sam cocked a brow at his brother. Then he got onto his knees beside the bed. The giggly noises increased. Now Sam was smiling.
"You know, if Cas was really in here, he should know about the monster after him," Sam paused, "Do you know what monster that is, Dean?"
"I think so," Dean finally smirked.
"Good. Because if that monster gets a hold of Cas, he won't be getting out," Sam teased on further, "Cassie..."
Sam dove under the bed and saw the little trenchcoat and feathered ball curled up in the center, a wide grin splitting his face. He squealed when Sam appeared. "Gotcha!" Sam reached a long moose arm at the angel and he came out from under the bed holding him in the air triumphantly.
"I have captured the angel!" Sam practically threw Cas onto the bed next to Dean, the latter sitting up and giggling. Dean also smiled at this playfulness displayed by his brother.
"Dehehean!" the angel whined.
"What? I didn't do anything! You gave yourself away there, kiddo," Dean poked Cas's belly. The angel flinched and giggled again.
"Oh, Cas... I think that monster is here to get you," Sam said, pausing dramatically, "He's big, and tall, and--"
"Ugly," Dean supplied, grinning. Sam rolled his eyes, "Handsome," he continued, "And he heard that you like to laugh. Is that right?"
Cas looked too giddy to answer and he just sat there with big blue eyes staring at Sam.
"Do you know the monster's name?" Sam asked.
Cas shook his head.
Sam inched closer to Cas now before he yelled out, "The tickle monster!" and he pounced on the angel and wiggled his fingers on his pudgy sides and stomach. Cas squealed before dissolving into loud, happy laughter. Dean chuckled at the scene.
"You're gonna make him blow out a window if you get him going too much," Dean pointed out.
"I'll stop when it's time," Sam smiled and then switched back to being the tickle monster, "Oh, is little Cassie ticklish?"
The angel didn't reply and just laid there and laughed, unable to get out of Sam's grip.
"What do you think, Dean?" Sam asked. Dean shrugged, "I don't know. He looks to be very ticklish. Maybe if..." Dean couldn't resist reaching over and pulling a small arm up and wiggling a few fingers in the now exposed armpit. Cas laughed adorably, his face being buried into the side of his arm. Sam grinned.
"I don't think I'm convinced yet," Sam said, adoring the look on Cas's breathless face. He focused on wiggling his fingers all over the young angel's belly and bellybutton. That, along with Dean joining in on the tickling, had Cas in stitches. The temptation was too great and Sam lifted up the angel's shirt to get at his bare belly. He leaned down and blew a raspberry, stubble adding to the ticklish feelings on Cas's soft stomach.
"SAHAHAHAHAHAMMY!!!" the child screeched, laughter falling silent for a second. Dean swore he felt the whole bunker rattle and shake with the force of that scream. That's when he pulled his fingers away from the angel. Cas was futilely pulling at Sam's hair.
"I don't know who Sammy is, sorry," Sam grinned. He still kept Cas pinned with one hand as he leaned off Cas. Then he took one of Castiel's ankles in his hand. The baby angel giggled in anticipation.
"The tickle monster has a thing for ticklish feetsies," Sam went on, "Are your little tootsies ticklish, Castiel?"
The child just started giggling and shook his head.
"No!?" Sam looked shocked, "I think I need to test that anyway..." and he took one of his fingers and wiggled it under the angel's foot. Cas shrieked and giggled loudly.
"I think you were lying to me. What does the tickle monster do to those who lie to him, Dean?" Sam asked. He kept up the facade rather well. Dean chuckled and looked at Cas.
"I don't think you need me to answer that..."
"Just play along!" Sam said and tickled Dean's socked feet lying next to him, too. Dean yelped and laughed briefly, yanking his feet away from his brother.
"Alright! He..." Dean held out the word and moved closer to Cas before whispering, "... tickles you!"
Sam ran his fingers all across the toddler soft, small feet. Cas was laughing like a maniac in a matter of seconds, squirming and kicking as much as he could. Sam then wiggled his fingers along the base of the angel's toes, getting his laughter to jump up in volume and pitch. Dean pinched his side just for fun. Castiel was nearly in tears. Sam surprised him by grouping his feet together and burying his face into them.
"NAHAHAHA SAHAHAHAMMY!" baby Cas screeched. Sam blew tiny raspberries on each miniature foot.
"Sam, that's overkill, don't you think?"
"One more," Sam grinned wickedly and took a huge breath before blowing a final raspberry on the angel's soles. Sam pulled back immediately after that. Cas crawled over to Dean and curled up next to him, a huge smile still gracing his features. Dean smiled and wrapped an arm around the tiny mass of angel, pulling him closer to himself.
"Was the tickle monster mean to you?" Dean asked. Cas nodded and pointed at Sam, "Bad Sammy!" but he was grinning widely as he said so. Sam chuckled.
"Sorry, Cas. But it wasn't me, it was the tickle monster."
"Nu-uh! It was you!"
"Maybe I helped him..."
The two hunters and the young angel sat in the room quietly. They were all feeling extremely happy, which was seldom. But it felt nice. Cas yawned and closed his eyes. Sam took the child and put him to bed in his own room, wishing him a good rest.
The next day, Cas woke up his normal, aged self. Dean welcomed him back and Sam just grinned at him. The younger Winchester went about his own normal daily activities, picking up a lore book, trying to decipher some of the text in it. Cas walked into the room and smirked.
"How's the book?"
"Fine," Sam answered.
"I was wondering, is there anything in there about tickle monsters?"
Sam looked up from the volume and met Cas's gaze. The angel was smirking very slightly and soon Sam chuckled, shaking his head in embarrassment.
"I don't remember much, but I must have been quite the nuisance for you and Dean."
"No, Cas, you were fine."
"I woke up with this on my hand," he held up his hand with the band-aid on it. Sam smiled at the memory, the bandage now looking far too small for the angel's hand.
Cas stared at it thoughtfully and then he said, "I appreciate what you and your brother did for me while I was like that. I would love to repay you at any given time."
"Don't mention it. You were a pretty cute kid once you got past the whole annoying part..." Sam teased. Castiel chuckled, "That was a form of a joke, right?"
Sam nodded. They sat there in a nice silence. Then Sam set his book down and his eyes lit up because an idea had struck him.
"Is Cas still afraid of the tickle monster?"
Cas looked at Sam and squinted his eyes, backing further into the couch, "No, I don't think so."
"You sure?" Sam advanced on the angel. Right before Castiel was about to zap himself out of the room, Sam tackled him.
"Let's see about that..." and he dug in. Well, Sam found out that Cas was still very scared of the tickle monster.