Jan. 29th, 2009

notahammer: (Sad)
He is not allowed to interfere. It is the first rule of his kind; he is a messenger of God, not God himself. Godly powers do not God make. He must only observe, and help only where instructed to do so. He must not grant prayers, not unless given explicit permission. It’s a hard standard to live by, and he supposes it is why angels who are sent to Earth tend to, ultimately, fall. There is too much suffering to observe without feeling it, in some way. Too much pain to go untreated. And too many wonderful individuals to grow attached to, attached in a way that is expressly forbidden.

Dean Winchester and his family – both by blood and emotion – will doubtless be Castiel’s downfall. He had been strong, for so many years. Been passive, and done only as ordered. But then he was assigned to Dean, ordered to drag him from the very bowels of Hell, and their destinies became indefinitely intertwined.

But now the War is over. Lucifer is still locked safely away, the power of good triumphing again over evil. But there is no war without casualties, and this is no exception. The battlefield around Lilith’s 66th chosen seal is littered with bodies, with blood dried black and earth scorched with demonic energy. And in the centre of it all, there gathers the family that Castiel is no longer a part of. His duty is done, the world saved at the hands of the Winchesters under his guidance, but he cannot leave. Not yet. Not now.

He walks closer, when he should walk away.

He looks first to Dean, sat alone with eyes wide with shock, body burnt out from months of waiting. And then he turns to Samuel, sat with eyes red-rimmed with tears, clutching the demon Ruby’s body to him.

Ruby, the demon who had saved them all. Who had taken the sword - more powerful than even the Colt - meant for Dean, so that he could continue to fight at his brother’s side, lend him the strength to finally exorcise Lilith once and for all. They are all sat here now because of the demon dying in the human’s arms.

“Please.” Sam has noticed him, and Castiel no longer has an opportunity for escape. “Please, help her. You cannot let her die, not now. Not for this.”

The angel turns to regard the elder brother again, sees the same plea in his eyes, even if he is still too shellshocked to speak out loud. And he knows then, that he must grant this prayer. It might be the end of him, he cannot be certain, but he knows he could not ever forgive himself for leaving Ruby’s soul to Hell after all she has done.

He kneels silently at Sam’s side, wordlessly taking the dying body into his own arms and holding her close. His cool palm presses to her clammy forehead, and her eyes immediately snap open and fill with black; an instinctual demonic reaction to an angel’s touch. And yet, Castiel does not turn back. He hushes her instead, keeps his touch gentle yet steady until her eyes fall closed and she relaxes against him. That is when he concentrates on his power, summons every last ounce of his angelic strength to cleanse this wounded body.

He does not know how long it takes. Maybe it is a minute, or maybe it is an hour. But eventually, the body in his arms begins to squirm from him, and he lets her go. Sam takes her immediately back into his own arms, watching and waiting for her eyes to open.

What happens next is not Castiel’s to see. He has broken too many angelic laws, and must fly to face the consequences. He whispers his blessing - “Fare well, my children. We will meet again, one day” – and then he is gone up to Heaven. He wishes he could have stayed longer, seen Ruby’s face when she realised what he had done, seen her live again as a human, but that is not his place. He has given her her second chance, and now can only pray that she uses it well.


notahammer: (Default)

December 2009


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