So I jumped on the tag wagon again, although this is more of an insight into Raphael than anything. People who have read my fics will know that I'm a bit of a Raph fan, and even though he was a real dick in this one I almost wanted to have a look at why and something struck me, when he said "who vanished, who left no instructions and a world to be run" this struck me. So I pass on the tag love.

Disclaimer: Seriously? Really? No, not mine, never will be, sorry!

"We Are Tired"

When God disappears it takes the archangels a while to realise it, after all it is not unusual for Him to go for decades at a time without being seen or heard. It is Gabriel who realises it first, Gabriel who brings it to Michael's attention and eventually it is brought to Raphael.

At first the archangels cannot understand, cannot comprehend that their Father is simply gone, and they try to continue as normal, to take on their Father's job of watching and ruling over the Earth, fighting to keep it under His influence. It is not until the world, the whole world erupts in war that they realise how hard it really is, how much they have failed. They realise that He is gone, really gone and that He seems to have given up on them all.

They continue to fight, though, continue to try and keep it from the lower echelons of Heaven, from the angels that may rebel if they find out the truth, they have to prevent anyone other than the remaining three who have seen His face from discovering the truth. It is hard, very hard, and as he pressure mounts and the chaos continues they one by one begin to fall prey to despair.

He disappeared, He left no instructions, and the world has to be run and they cannot do it, cannot comprehend it at all, and they realise, their Father is gone.

When word reaches them of Azazel's plan, none can bring themselves to care. The world is all disorder, all chaos, all darkness and they cannot drag it back from that, cannot pull it into the light and if this has been a test then they know that they have failed and if they have failed, then there is no point in bothering further. They have realised that their Father does not care what they do, so if he does not care then they will do as they will. They plan for the Apocalypse, they plan to win it. They seed the vessel.

During all of this, all of the planning, all of the manoeuvring, everything, Raphael has felt his faith slip from him, second, by minute, by hour, by day, by week, by month, by year, always slipping and he cannot hold onto it. Everything that he has believed in, the Father that he loves, has vanished, gone like it never existed and Raphael is frightened. His Father is dead, has to be, the archangel does not wish to believe that he has earned such displeasure, that his Father would abandon them to this, because He would not let them do this, He would not let them try to take that which is not theirs, has never been theirs, to lay claim to.

Raphael knows that by taking the prophet and giving him the words as though they were the words of God was an act of blasphemy, that by forcing the prophet to speak them it made them so but with each passing moment, each passing year, he begins to believe it more, that his Father really is dead and the despair eats at him, twists him and makes him feel hate and anger for the first time.

They truly think that they have a chance at winning this war. They do not take into consideration the cantankerous nature of their righteous man, do not consider that he may not want to serve in the manner he was created. They do not, for even a second, think that he may influence one of their own.

That is what rankles at Raphael, the fact that Dean has been able to twist Castiel to his purpose from almost the moment he was pulled from the pit. The sight of an angel, even one of the lowest in the ranks, beginning to doubt, beginning to feel, getting close to his charge in this way, becoming so close that he has to be reprimanded, is not a part of the plan, is something that makes Raphael question what makes Castiel so special, what makes him see hope and a future where the archangel sees only darkness. It makes him wonder how Castiel can still see the hand of God in all of this.

Castiel's defiance is another indication, to Raphael at least, that they did the right thing to keep their Father's disappearance from the ranks, he knows that others would have followed where Castiel leads, and it is a rebellion that Raphael needs to crush, to destroy because it is just another show of how far from their Father's word they have strayed and the archangel needs no reminder of that.

The little angel's return, weakened and human, is a thorn in Raphael's heart, one that twists and blackens and he has to hope that this is the work of Lucifer, because if this is a sign of his Father's favour, Raphael is terrified of the day that He returns. He wants this to be the work of Lucifer so badly, wants to take Dean to Michael and force him to accept the other archangel so that they can win, so that Raphael can finish what he started and the war between brothers can be won.

He will allow, however, that Zachariah gave both Dean and Castiel too little credit, that they are far more intelligent and far more resourceful than they were given credit for and he knows that even though he has tried to crush Castiel's hope just as his own was, he has failed, Dean will see to that.

He is certain now, though, Michael must have his vessel by any means and Castiel must be stopped.