This should have been up yesterday, however, due to circumstances beyond my control (my landlady) I had no internet. It gave me time to catch up. It also put me onto a complete Atlantis kick and I procrastinated. I am remorseless, I had forgotten how much I love that show. Anyway, this is yet another one inspired by a Disturbed track, this time Sacred Lie, it seemed appropriate to the story line.

Disclaimer: I still don't own it, I doubt I will ever own it, but I like to play with it. Mr Kripke, I'm borrowing it and I will give everything that is yours back. I'll keep Cassidy, Peter and Daniel though.

Sacred Lie.

My conviction is stronger today
As I fight to uncover your sacred lie

And the fear isn't going away
As the soldiers still die

They have been on the road now for almost a week, driving across the country and trying to come up with some form of plan which will enable them to stop the angels from wiping out mankind. Dean is short tempered, Sam is worried and Castiel, despite the show that he put on in front of Raphael and Cassidy, is still afraid.

Of all the archangels, Raphael is the one that Castiel knows the most about, even more than the leaders Michael and Gabriel, because Raphael was always the gentlest of them. He has always been known for taking a softer view of humans than the other angels, even than Castiel before the angel fully understood the how intricate they were, how they were more than simply the mudmonkeys that Uriel so despised. In raising Dean from Hell he was shown the true beauty of the human soul and even though he knows, now, that it was all manipulation and lies on the part of his superiors, Castiel is truly thankful for what they have shown him.

It does not stop him from being afraid, because even if he knows that Raphael is the gentlest of all the archangels, he is still far more powerful than Castiel had ever hoped to be. Castiel is also beginning to suspect that the answers that they are searching for can be found in that particular archangel rather than in any of the books that he and Sam have been frantically searching through as the angels build up to their next attack, as they decide on the next town to destroy and their next collection of victims. He thinks that the answers to all of their questions can be found in Raphael, including why he was chosen for this task in the first place.

Which is the thing that Castiel does not understand. Michael's words on the battlefield at the fall of Lucifer implied that his action had been part of their plan, that his role had been important in the whole thing. From the weaker angel's experience, however, everything that was done to him was real, he really disobeyed, he was really punished, really tortured and really hunted down. Castiel finds it fortunate that when Dean questioned him on the matter, he believed the angel was as confused as he.

They have taken the risk of stopping in a larger town than they normally would, Castiel does not know the name of it, does not really care when it gets right down to it as he has other concerns beyond their precise location, both the brothers have been driving for twenty four solid hours, Dean only allowing Sam the chance to drive the last hour when he almost fell asleep at the wheel. Now the brothers are asleep and Castiel is studying the same book that he has been looking at since Cassidy left it in his possession.

Something is bothering him, however, a feeling on the very edge of his awareness and it bring a frown to a face that, even with the emotions he is experiencing, usually remains impassive. He closes his eyes and tries to focus on it a little more, is startled when Dean begins to snore softly across the room and Sam begins to do the same not long after that. It is distracting and he leaves the room, settling himself on the quiet on the tarmac beside the Impala, using the car to shield him from the view of anyone nearby, and closes his eyes again, leaning back against the cool metal door.

It takes a while for him to place the feeling, it has been so long since he has felt it and this sensation is far less than it was when he was at the height of his power and grace, such as that was, Castiel was never more than a mediocre soldier at best. Nevertheless, this feeling fills him with dread and it is intensifying with each passing moment. This is the way that hundreds of angels feel when they are marching on a place that they intend to destroy and it is with horror that he realises that this town is their next target.

He is on his feet and pushing the door open before he has even registered that he has moved, does not care that the door bangs against the wall or that both the brothers are violently startled out of their dreaming state. He is simply talking, throwing belongings into bags and not even aware that he is not making any sense until Dean grabs his arm and turns him around to meet confused green eyes, stops him for a moment, tells him to slow down and start again, so that they know what he is saying this time.

He begins again, slower this time, as though talking to a child, saying that they need to leave, that half of Michael's army is on it's way and that this place is the target. He knows that they are going to put up a fight, knows that they are going to say that they need to evacuate as many people as possible, and he has to stress that there is no time. None, they need to get out now, because as soon as the other angels arrive it will not matter that Sam and Dean unknowingly helped them get to this point, it will not matter that Dean is the righteous man and Castiel is the brother that they used for their own purpose, if they are here, they will be killed.

Dean argues and Sam pulls faces and any other time Castiel would be trying to talk them around to his point of view, any other time he would be patiently explaining it to them in terms that they could understand, the human method of communication being far more limited than the angelic method and that is something that he has been aware of since the day that he pulled Dean from Hell. This day, however, he does not have that luxury, none of them do, and he can feel the angels drawing ever closer, they are not so much moving slowly, rather they are marching, baring down upon this place with all of the menace that a group of several hundred men and women filled with the light and soul of a warrior of the Lord can be.

On the air, then, there comes a sound, a noise that makes both of the brothers flinch, the distant sound of an angelic battle cry, and Castiel knows that they are out to utterly destroy this town, to leave nothing more than half burnt buildings and perfect bodies staring at nothing but the sky in awe and horror and death, but they will give a warning, one that no humans other than the hunters he is with are capable of understanding. Understand it they do, that faint cry that has the brothers clamping their hands over their ears and faces contorting in pain that is just this side of agony. It achieves what Castiel's simple words could not, it has them packing their bags and racing to the car, driving from the motel.

They do not leave in silence, not like the usually do, as Dean drives through he keeps his hand against the horn of the car, the sharp sound blaring through otherwise quiet streets, trying to wake as many as possible to make them alert to the danger. Another shout from the angels, closer now, tells Castiel that his efforts will be in vain, still, he admires the hunter for trying, even though the resigned expression on the man's face tells him that he does not really believe it will work either.

Dean picks up the speed, stops trying to warn people and simply drives and it is no longer Castiel who is afraid, the scent of it is thick inside the Impala and Castiel knows that it is time for him to stop standing idly by. It is time for him to seek out Raphael, it is time to find a way to stop Michael. It is time for answers.

SPN

Michael is one of the highest of angels, the leader of them all, the one who hears the Lords orders and puts them into practice. What very few of the angels know is that he stopped hearing the words of his Father many, many years ago, that now he is merely trying to interpret what his Father would wish. Somewhere on the edge of his awareness, he knows that is wrong, knows that he should not try to guess his Father's wishes and wants, because he has never been able to in the past, but he is weary, weary of waiting for Him to return and weary of taking second place to the humans.

He has never once considered the thought that he might be agreeing with Lucifer, whom he always despised after his little rebellion, never once considered that his frustrations were the same thing that sparked the Morning Star's heated words and desperate battles.

He knows that others of his kind find this difficult, that they fear that killing the humans, even though the order comes from Michael and therefore from their Father Himself, will bring His wrath down upon them anyway. Others simply do not wish to do it, find mankind fascinating and would rather study them in peace for a hundred years before deciding whether they should be wiped out or not. Raphael is the most vocal of those.

Michael has a great deal of respect for Raphael, there are not many angels who can see all that they have, who can know the truth about their Father and yet remain absolutely true to their own nature. Michael blames man for Lucifer's fall, blames the creation of man, more even that Lucifer's pride, for the loss of a brother he once allowed himself to love almost as much as his Father. Raphael simply believes that Lucifer was misguided, opinionated and wrong, that humans are beautiful in all their flaws, an example he sets with his choice of vessel. Michael thinks that choice misguided, fears that if left to continue thinking about what is being done, another brother will turn on him and be lost.

Usually this would not be of concern to him, brothers and sisters have fallen over the millennia and he has mourned none of them, is not capable of mourning them, he has not feared their fall, but if Raphael were to turn on him it could be a disaster, could decimate his ranks, because Raphael is charismatic, as much as an angel can be among his kind, he is open and well liked among the host, his word carries a great deal of weight even though he has never seen the face of the Father as Michael has, he has heard the word and that is almost as much of an honor.

So he is to be kept busy. Michael knows that the tasks he has set him are all but impossible, there is no way that Raphael will be able to wipe the existence of these towns that they have culled from the memories of every human who ever knew of them. Beyond that, however, he knows that Raphael would not, would think less of the healing angel if he did find a way to accomplish it, but needs to keep him busy and out of the way so that he cannot interfere until it is too late.

That is when he feels it, even above the feeling of the host at his back, of their grace and power and sheer overwhelming belief that this is the right thing that they are doing, he feels the pulse of a shattered grace and looking to his left he knows that Raphael feels it too. Castiel is here and where Castiel goes, his humans seem to go too.

For Michael, this changes nothing, this town will still be levelled and if Dean and Sam Winchester have to die along with it, so be it, they have outlived their usefulness anyway and their job is done. Sensing that Raphael is about to leave to warn them, he stops him, orders that he remain, and there is reluctance from his brother, reluctance that causes the petite blonde vessel that Gabriel has taken to frown and even Michael can feel the face of his vessel shift a little but neither mentions it and Rapheal does as ordered, turns blind eyes away from them and up to the skies for a moment.

Michael raises his hand, cares not that the shattered grace is withdrawing, and as one the host cry out, once, twice, three times, and then they are upon the town and the human souls within are rendered to dust.

In it all he can see Raphael on the sidelines, watching, impassive, but there is a crack there, in his grace, and were Michael paying more attention, it would have him concerned. Right now, however, his only concern is this, and he turns all his attention to the task at hand, does not see his brother leave the field.

Let your followers know their lives have been sold
For the good of your sacred lie
For the truth to be told
And the plan to unfold
We must start asking why

Reviews are little Castiels that fly above our heads and mini Deans under the bed. A small Sam in hand and a tiny John by the chair, a review that can show how much you care.

Artemis