Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or Harry Potter or any of the characters, unfortunately ;)
''Sleep, Aza. It took a lot of you to fix me up, and woman need their beauty sleep, right?'' Gabriel teased her, and Azaela reluctantly restrained herself from smacking him.
''Yeah, yeah, feathers. And you definitely need to come here every so often, alright? I'm your doctor after all.'' Azaela grinned at the Angel, who only looked momentarily stunned before he covered up that expression with his by now familiar suggestive tilt of his lips.
''Will you be wearing a uniform, Aza?'' The Archangel waggled his eyebrows comically, and she chuckled deeply at the ridiculousness of the whole situation.
''No, feathers. See you tomorrow!'' Azaela jumped off the car, waving at the still form of the Angel before she slowly walked back into the house, only shouting a quick night to the three hunters before she shuffled up the stairs and quickly entered the room she had commandeered yesterday.
Yet, she knew that sleep was a long way from coming.
Chapter 9 – Thy terrors lurking in the night
Slumping against the old, wooden door belonging to her room in complete exhaustion, Azaela finally allowed herself to drop the smile on her face. The Mistress of Death was tired, filled with a bone-deep longing for people she would never see again.
Talking with Gabriel had brought back memories she had tried so hard to forget. Painful memories, tinged with bitter sorrow and bone-deep longing. Kneeling next to his injured and bloody form had been too similar to how she had mourned next to her sister in all but blood.
The day had been filled with too much – too many people – for her to think back to the last century, but now that she was alone, it all came rushing back.
Years upon years of darkness and rivers made up of blood and crystalline tears – of sharp blades and broken tools. Sliding down the slightly chipped door, until she was firmly seated on the cold ground, Azalea let her head collide with the door – not minding the brief flare of pain accompanying the action.
It was dark outside.
The night was darkness. Pure darkness, only illuminated by the pale moon; silvery rays seemingly trying to counter the total absence of light.
Azaela had always found the pitch black night sky to be comforting. When everything was muted around her, she felt like she could dance under the moonlight, nothing but the sky bearing witness to her actions.
Yet, this night she found no comfort in the darkness. The moon was barely visible, the darkness too reminiscent of Hell to be a source of calm.
She was afraid, even though it had been so easy to pretend that nothing was wrong. Effortless when her mind was awake and distracted with the pending Apocalypse.
Dean was still as she remembered him – headstrong, and loyal to a fault, too reckless to not make her worry. Sam was similar to Hermione, with a love for books, and a penchant for too many questions. Bobby was gruff, but steady in a way she had not experienced in a long time.
She loathed how weak and needy her voice sounded, Azalea had won a war and survived years of abuse and even more years of Hell. But still, it did nothing to change the fact that she needed Him right now. She knew that as long as He was there, the memories would not overwhelm her. She took a shuddering breath. ''C-can you…?''
There was a moment of painful silence, in which a lone tear slowly made its way down the side of her face.
A warm presence suddenly spread through the room like sunshine on a hot summer day, and in the next moment, Azaela felt a warm form next to her, face instantly pressed against a broad shoulder.
It was sometimes still surprising to her who used to fear touch, to revel in it when it came from her father.
''Hush, daughter-mine. I am here.'' God soothed her gently, one hand already stroking through her dark tangled hair. ''What ails you, child?''
''I…'' Azaela hesitantly started, not finding the words to express how thoroughly lost she felt. Instead, she nuzzled into the crook of His neck, fisting His shirt tightly with her right hand.
How could one suddenly go back to life like nothing happened, when the last century had been spent on a rack being tortured?
She had seen the same shadows in Dean's eyes, recognized the same tortured lost look, and it tore at her heart. Because she had smelt the slight tang of alcohol clinging to him persistently.
Azaela was startled when a gentle hand tilted her face upwards, her eyes meeting that of the Creator, and she could see nothing but a pained remorse in the normally clear eyes.
''I am so endlessly sorry, child. You will never know how much it pained me to leave you in there. To know that I could make every single one of your dreams come true with but a thought, and still do nothing.''
God was the creator of all. He had the power to shape the world in his image, to see the past and the future, to control life and even Death.
Seeing his daughter, a child He had promised to cherish and protect suffer when He could so easily end it all with nary but a thought was jarring.
''No matter what justifications, what reasons I have, I will never forgive myself for that.'' God continued, voice a low rumbling baritone, instead of the normally soothing tenor. ''I knew that one day we would be sitting on this floor in this very room, the same way I knew how unhappy, and unloved you would be with your relatives.''
At the mention of the Dursely's Azaela flinched unconsciously, trying not to think back to those lonely days and nights, when she knew nothing but cold disdain.
''…and yet even back then when I first showed myself to you in that church, I did nothing to soothe your pain.'' God raised a halting palm to cup her tear stained cheek, looking more human than she had ever seen Him. ''Even though I also knew that one day I would love you. Cherish you. I put my plans, the needs of humanity above your happiness and I did it yet again when you fell into Hell.''
Azaela took a shuddering breath, too stunned by her father's words to speak.
''You have all the right in the world to blame me, when I call myself your father and yet allowed you to suffer so grievously time and time again.''
Blame Him? Azaela had already contemplated every single of those issues years ago, when she first became aware of just who she so casually called father. She had not even placed the slightest hint of blame on His shoulders even when she was slowly breaking apart.
''I like to think…'' She whispered haltingly, thinking back to that vast plane with the beautiful dark night sky. Hours and days – years – spent in that space so precious to her. ''…that I know you well enough to place the blame where it is due. Humans have free will, and that is all there is to it.''
''Free will, huh?'' God sighed, pressing a small kiss in the middle of his daughter's forehead, brows furrowed. ''It still does not excuse my inaction.''
Azaela couldn't help but snort in amusement, grateful when God did not mention her watery gaze, and the choked quality of her voice. ''I see where I must have gotten my stubbornness from. It truly is tiring to deal with.''
''Oh?'' God's eyebrows rose, a smirk spreading over his face. ''Stubborn, am I? Believe me when I tell you, though – that Gabriel has similarly inherited that tiring stubbornness as you have so aptly called it.''
The Mistress of Death practically hissed in embarrassment. ''What is that supposed to mean?''
The creator blinked innocently, taking too much pleasure in the red spreading over his daughter's face. ''I'm just stating a fact. If Feathers…'' Azaela promptly blushed an even darker shade of red when God mentioned her new nickname for the Archangel, and God's smirk widened. ''…whose wings you find so beautiful….''
Azaela wished desperately for the ground to swallow her up whole by now.
''…returns for his check-up tomorrow, be sure to tie him up properly, will you? Otherwise as stubborn as he is, he won't remain laying down.''
Even Azaela - as inexperienced with romance as she was – could literarily feel the numerous innuendos bashing against her skull.
She felt another burst of heat flashing towards her face, intent on making the red colour even more prominent.
''Dad!'' Azaela practically pleaded, ''Please just stop talking!''
''Alright, child. I will.'' God soothed her ire, eyes laughing at her silently. Azaela was more than aware that those words were nothing but a distraction – and sitting on the cold dusty ground with God's arm surrounding her, she felt entirely safe from her haunting memories.
''It's time to go to bed. Your body needs its rest.'' God ordered firmly, voice stern enough to quell the ire Azaela was feeling at being sent to bed like a child when she was technically over a hundred years old.
Throwing God one last dark look, Azaela reluctantly untangled herself from the creator, disappearing into the dimensional space inside her trunk necklace, a small content smile on her face.
She wasn't even surprised when after returning God was lounging on her bed, arms outstretched with a warm smile on his lips.
There was a reason – after all – just why exactly she loved the being so very dearly.
The creator – God – observed his daughters sleeping face, eyes flickering with a myriad of emotions, too many to comprehend.
Azaela was sleeping peacefully, dreams free of the nightmares that would have plagued her otherwise. His daughter had practically commandeered His upper arms as her pillow, face pressed close to His shoulder.
The creator couldn't find it in Himself to mind, His thoughts straying back millions of years ago when the thought of humans had not even crossed His mind, when he had despaired at the Angel's blind devotion and obedience.
He had seen flickers of a future, then. Beings with a soul capable of both good and bad, without the inherent overwhelming power of His other creation but better for it. Beings that would not worship Him without reason, who would curse and praise His name in equal measures.
He had rejoiced from the bottom of His heart, eager to create a new species. Eager to follow that infinitely impossible future where He had sensed Himself coming to love something, cherish one of His new creations so dearly He would call her His daughter.
God had not known how difficult it would be to remain afar, to do nothing when the little one's soul practically screamed for help, for someone to love her. He had been full of wonder when He met her for the first time, already recognizing His presence unconsciously.
Letting Azaela suffer in Hell for so many years was not any easier than not smiting the Dursley's in righteous anger. And now He would let her fight in the Apocalypse, for humans and angels alike.
God knew Death would agree with Him. Both had wished for that child, and knowing they would let her get hurt yet again, even though they were both absolute in their own way, left a bad taste in His mouth.
Sighing, God went back to observing His daughter's peaceful sleep.
It wouldn't do to regret the path they had chosen.
But in some moments, the urge to destroy everything and anything that could cause His daughter any harm was nearly overwhelming.
Azaela half-stumbled down the old wooden staircase, her eyes drawn together in a desire to return back to their closed stage. It was the first time she had slept so deeply in her whole life, and if her father hadn't woken her up only minutes ago, she was sure she could have continued sleeping for eternity.
That's what it had felt like at least.
Dean, Sam and Bobby were already awake, steaming cups of coffee in front of them.
''Morning.'' Azaela greeted without any real enthusiasm, a single yawn punctuating her current frame of mind.
Dean and Bobby only grunted at her, while Sam actually greeted her with a small smile and a muttered 'good morning'.
The Mistress of Death plopped down on her chair semi-gracefully, a cup of strong tea and some eggs and bacon appearing in front of her. Bobby twitched a little, but remained silent otherwise.
''Do we have any plans for today?'' Azaela leaned back in her chair, sipping on her tea in a leisurely fashion, ''As far as I understood it we have all the rings necessary to imprison Lucifer, right?''
''True…'' Bobby acknowledged shortly, running a hand through his grey hair. ''But the question is how do we use those rings.''
At that Sam and Dean both looked up, seemingly not having noticed this point – and Azaela resisted the urge to bang her head against the nearest surface.
Neither Death nor God had told her how to do it, so she didn't know either.
''Gabriel would probably know.'' Azaela remarked thoughtfully, ''He's an Archangel, and therefore should have been there when Lucifer was sealed for the first time. I'll try calling him.''
''It's the best shot we have.'' Bobby agreed grudgingly, and she pretended not to see the twitching eyebrows Dean currently exhibited.
''Yes, yes… I know. I'll be good, Sammy.'' Dean grumbled, sounding quite put out at the warning look his brother had given him.
''You just tend to not like Gabriel.'' Sam pointed out quite reasonably, not quite saying that after seeing his brother die in so many times in various creative ways, even Sam felt very few goodwill towards the Angel. ''…and we really could use his help.''
Dean rolled his eye in aggravation. ''No insulting the feathered menace. I understand.''
Sam looked highly dubious, and Azaela noticed a similar look in Bobby's eyes.
''Alright then, girlie. Try your luck.''
Azaela closed her eyes, figuring it was a little similar to how she usually contacted her father.
''Gabriel? It's Azaela. We're having a meeting about the whole Lucifer thing… and how to use the rings. Besides I distinctly remember you promising to come for me to take another look at that wound.''
Even Azaela was slightly startled at the sound of wings beating right next to her only seconds later – a hazy glow spreading from the enormous six wings illuminating the small dusty room for a single beautiful moment.
Gabriel lounged comfortably on another chair, munching on a bar of chocolate, and looking far better than the day before.
''You called?'' His cocky smirk contained just the slightest bit arrogance, enough to make Dean bristle in annoyance.
But Azaela was just glad to see that the broken look in his eyes was gone, exchanged with a dry amusement at their expense.
''Do you know how those rings work?'' Bobby asked gruffly, wasting no time with idle chatter. The old hunter was of the opinion that the sooner they finished this insanity, the better for all involved.
''Of course.'' Gabriel clutched his chest with one hand dramatically, mock hurt evident in his voice. ''To think you would doubt me after all this time.''
''With good reason…'' Dean muttered, but seemed content enough to let the Archangel be for now.
Sam leaned forward excitedly, and academic curiosity shining in those hazel eyes. ''Then do think you could tell us?''
''I could.'' Gabriel acknowledged, looking faintly amused. ''…but only if…'' The Angel of Judgement let the faint amusement evaporate from his expression, amber eyes glowing with a moment of unrestrained power as the outline of wings could be seen even by the three hunters.
''…you agree with a few stipulations of mine.''
''What the fuck...'' Dean burst out, the chair clattering to the floor with how fast he leapt up. ''We're trying to stop the freakin' Apocalypse here, man. So why the fuckin' stipulations? Either help us or don't.''
''What would those be?'' Bobby cut in before Dean could get even more angry, though he couldn't blame the boy. They had fought and killed monsters since years without any Angels helping them fight and then those even started planning the fuckin' Apocalypse.
Bobby was quite sick of hearing about reasons why they couldn't just help them without expecting anything out of it.
Gabriel did not make any jokes, acting for once like the Angel of Judgement. Like a being older than they could imagine. ''Firstly, those rings will only be used for putting Lucifer back into the cage, nothing else. They will be under the supervision of Azaela who was personally given her ring by Death. Similarly they shall be returned to her after the act is done. Dean and Sam Winchester, regardless of the outcome, if one of you dies then the natural order of life and death will be kept for once. That's all. If you agree to those terms, I will gladly help you.''
Azaela knew that the last point would enrage Dean, but as someone capable of sensing the natural order – the delicate balance of death and life – she had to agree with him.
''I agree.'' She spoke up at last, ring a comfortable warmth on her finger. ''As the current bearer of the ring, I have to agree with Gabriel. Life and Death should not be mixed so carelessly. Though if it eases your mind, I do not feel either of your imminent death.''
''Fine.'' Dean ground out, looking a little mollified. ''Then if that's settled, what now?''
Suddenly Sam cried out, a grin making him seem infinitely younger. ''We forgot Chuck.''
''What's with Chuck? The less I have to see of him, the better.'' Dean crossed his arms, still angry about that asshole writing about their lives so carelessly.
''He's a prophet, Dean. We should ask him what he can tell us about the confrontation. If he can give us some information we don't know yet.''
''Dad's current prophet?'' Gabriel questioned curiously, finding the idea to have some serious merit. God's prophet's were usually granted certain powers for a reason, and Gabriel was aware of God's interest in not only the Winchester's, but also the little mysterious nymph. ''Couldn't hurt at the very least.''
''Then it's decided. A visit to Chuck it is.''
As Azaela heard the words, she had the inane feeling that currently her father was laughing at them.
She didn't like the feeling very much.
Not at all.
The rhythmic clattering of the keyboard echoed through a messy room, a desk cluttered with papers and alcohol holding an old monitor.
A middle aged man, with brown messy hair and beard, blue eyes narrowed in concentration was sitting in a rickety chair, typing furiously.
Suddenly a somewhat amused smile tilted the man's lips upward and he leaned back; his old blue-striped bathrobe covering his pyjamas.
''I wonder, dear daughter-mine – what face you shall make when you see me.''
Even thought he words were spoken out loud, echoing somewhat hauntingly in the small room, they were not heard by anyone but himself, not even the Archangel watching his every move.
Chuck Shurley – known as the current prophet of God – smirked in amusement.
'Let everything begin, then.'
A/N Right now, I'm feeling vaguely proud of myself. My ability to procrastinate is something to be feared very much indeed.
During the last few months I just had no muse, nor motivation to continue this story, every time I tried to write anything I always came up blank. So I just decided to screw the storyline, and write what I want. So if things get mixed up, or are not in the correct order…. Screw it!
That's the only way for me to continue this story, because I hate researching and have no interest in re-watching Supernatural currently.
Well, hope you enjoyed it, I tried giving God some personality which is still half-way believable, and expound a little on Azaela's trauma…
Thank you for being relatively patient with me and supporting this story!
Well hopefully I'll be able to get out the next chapter relatively fast!