Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
Revelations Pt. 2
"I was starting to think you weren't coming back." Jane didn't bother to turn around. She knew he was there, just appeared behind her. Almost silently, except for that sound like wings.
"I'm not coming back."
She sighed. "Yeah, I kind of figured." It was a beautiful day, bright sunshine and big, puffy clouds. He came over and sat beside her on the stone bench, some memorial bench commemorating someone's dearly departed. She'd read the name, but she'd already forgotten what it was. The graveyard was empty and it was peaceful under the oak tree, the breeze swaying the leaves and rolling the clouds away.
She turned to look at him. He was watching the clouds too. "You look better. Angel superpowers, huh?" He'd been beaten and bloody last time she'd seen him. Last time she'd seen him in human form, at least. He looked back to normal now, even though some of those wounds should have killed him. No bruises, no broken bones. Even his coat and suit were spotless, tie askew as usual. She was going to have to ask him about that sometime.
"I can't believe it's really over." They both stared out at the field of neglected tombstones.
"It's not over yet. This was only one battle in a long war, and there will be many more to come. It was a blow to the enemy, but they don't give up easily. Neither do we," Castiel said, his voice hard. He sat slightly hunched, hands folded as if in prayer.
Jane found it hard to speak, but she was glad she had someone to say this to. She ducked her head, trying to find the right words. "It felt good to fight. I wanted to hurt him. What happened last night, Castiel?"
Now he was the one to look pained. He didn't look at her, kept looking straight ahead. "This shouldn't be your burden, Jane. I've been asking myself, ever since I came here, why my Father sent me here. Why he chose me. It seems you are in the same position." He turned, looking sad. "This war that's coming…that we're fighting now….We're outnumbered. We are…weak. At times, it looks hopeless."
"You said there's always hope."
He nodded, turned back. He seemed to reach for the words. "That's why you're here, Jane. There are certain people who have been chosen. Chosen to fight with us. We need all the help we can get."
Take it all in stride. It made sense, but that wasn't what she cared about. "So you're saying…even if Eliul hadn't targeted me, I would have gotten involved in this. If I hadn't met you that day—" How long ago had it been? It felt like years. "—this would have still happened." She watched his profile, the hooded eyes somber.
"We can't know what would have happened. But it was your fate to play a part in this war. Nothing could have changed that."
"And that's why I can…do whatever that was back there." She gestured to the church, a short distance away from the graveyard. She hadn't been back inside since the night before and didn't feel like ever going back.
"Yes. Ordinarily, you would have been killed to see my true form, and you would never have survived the demonic attacks. It certainly explains some things. I should have seen it from the beginning…"
"Eliul knew, didn't he? He said something about it, that first night." She wasn't really asking. She stared off, unfixed, remembering that night in the warehouse. "He's not going to get out, is he?"
"Not while I'm here." He sighed, looked down. "But there are others who will step up to do his work. More are coming. This Seal was only the first step. Testing the waters. We saved this one, but there will be more. We have a long campaign ahead." Castiel looked at her, his lips pressed together. She didn't really want to think about what was ahead, but she knew he was right. It was just the beginning. Just one Seal saved. A lot more to go. Jane swallowed hard.
"Everything that happened last night--I guess I should be freaked out, but I'm not. I don't know, it just felt...right. Like I had been waiting for it to happen. It felt...good. I...killed...people. How can that feel good?" She stared at him, but he wouldn't look back. He was calm. Always in control.
"It's a part of who you are. You were chosen for this." Flat words, like they were memorized.
"Well don't I get to choose? What if I don't want to be chosen? What if I just want a normal life, where I don't have to kill demons or worry about the end of the world?" Jane asked, more than a little angry. Guilt was twinging up her spine, but she ignored it, even though she knew it wasn't Castiel's fault.
He sounded disappointed. "You have free will. One of our greatest gifts. And burdens. You could go back to your old life, live like a normal person, forget everything you've seen. Or you can fight with us." He met here eyes, but this time she felt like she couldn't do it.
"I thought I'd feel different."
"Your family," he said. Not a question.
"That demon, Iranax, said something to me, before. He said my sister...gave them her son, so they wouldn't kill her. Is that true?" God, she couldn't look at him.
"I wasn't there, Jane."
There was a long pause. It felt sick. Or maybe that was just in Jane's head, because that was how she felt. She was never going to know if it was true. But just the thought...the doubt, the question in her mind was enough to haunt her for a long time to come. She sniffed and tried to wipe her eyes covertly. "I want to fight. I know it won't bring them back, but I want to help. Eliul's gone, and revenge...doesn't taste like I thought it would. But if I can send more of those bastards back to Hell then maybe that'll feel a little better."
"Did you want justice or revenge?"
"What's the difference?"
"Revenge is what humans do."
She almost chuckled. Even if it was weak, the tension was sort of broken. "Don't get all philosophical on me, Castiel. I don't think you guys really care why I'm helping."
He didn't say anything, but they both knew it was true.
"So what about you? You were gone for a long time," Jane asked. The silence was getting to be too much for her, letting too many unpleasant thoughts in.
"Yes. Debriefing, you might say." He didn't elaborate, and Jane didn't press him.
He hunched over, elbows on his legs, head bowed. He looked like he was asking for forgiveness. "I came close to doing a terrible thing. I keep wondering if my Father's faith in me is misplaced."
Jane waited, unsure where he was going with this.
"I've been given command of our forces, here on Earth, to prevent the breaking of the Seals," he said, raising his head and sounding less than thankful.
"But more than that….I don't understand why my Father allowed this. Ordered this. To be so tested…so close to the edge…I almost fell, Jane. How can any of this be right?" He looked at her plaintively.
Jane didn't have an answer. It hurt to see Castiel like that, looking as lost and confused as she was. He was supposed to have the answers. He was the angel, wise and powerful, the leader, the one who knew what to do, yet here he was confiding in her. The reversal struck her along with the uncomfortable knowledge that she was hearing the innermost workings of his soul. She couldn't do anything except listen.
Castiel looked away, staring blankly. "I keep thinking...I almost betrayed my Father's trust. If you weren't there, what would I have done? I doubt myself. I doubt my mission, and...the plan. Why put me in command? I am weak. I don't know if I can do this. There are others who would be better."
"Abdiel would have fallen, Castiel. They chose you for a reason." She made sure she sounded certain.
Castiel brushed it off. "Abdiel saw what you were from the beginning. He was stationed here to guard the Seal…a waste of his powers. If he hadn't been called off he would have vanquished the demons, better than I could. " The tone of self-deprecation was back again.
"Castiel. You're the one who cast Eliul into Hell," Jane said, trying to be gentle but coming off stern. She moved to touch his shoulder, but she couldn't do it. Clearing her throat, she changed the subject, hating to see him like that. "Is Abdiel coming back here now?"
He looked up, squinting slightly in the sun. "He has his orders."
Castiel seemed to collect himself. He sat up a little straighter, turned to look at her seriously, his voice low. "Are you prepared for this?"
"What, do I have to make an oath or something? I said I'd do it. You're going to help me, right?" But she didn't like the look he gave her. Evasive, like he was going to say something she wouldn't like. He frowned and broke the gaze.
Jane was incredulous. "So, what? I just go off, by myself? Hunting down demons and saving the world?"
"This is only the beginning. There are more of you, some who'll be with you, all of you fighting for the same cause. And we will be out there. We'll be in touch."
Jane didn't say anything for a minute. Then she spoke up, quietly. "Will I see you again?"
He did not answer immediately.
"No. I don't think our paths will cross again." He paused. "And you should worry more if they have reason to."
Jane looked out over the graveyard, saw the patches of brown grass and fake flowers propped up against headstones, falsely cheery in a deserted burial ground. Take it all in stride. She and Castiel seemed content to carry on this conversation without looking at each other. Stuck in different places, maybe. Or just too many things that wouldn't make any difference to say. She sighed, quietly, so he wouldn't hear. "What about you?"
"I have someone to raise from Hell." He was watching the church, looking for something.
She made a sound, half chuckle and half scoff. "Right."
He turned to look at her now, shot her with those blue eyes that were too deep, made him look a million years old and so damn unhuman.
"Goodbye, Jane," he said.
"See you later, angel-boy." She didn't want to see him leave. The clouds went rolling past, sun too bright in her eyes. Jane sat alone on the bench, a girl with a mission.
A/N: Thank you all, and good night.