The everlasting light:
A second later, Ezra disappeared from the archway and the boys heard a flap of wings followed by a gentle thud on the roof. Dust shook loose from the filthy chandelier and floated to the floor. Sam and Dean remained like statues shocked into silence.
A loud crack of thunder broke through the stillness and as one they rushed to the front porch. Thick, dark ominous clouds rolled in over the surrounding desert mountains at such speed they knew it was caused by something supernatural.
'Its Ezra.' Cas explained, appearing at their side, making them both jump. 'She's upset.' He gave Dean an accusing look, but before Dean had the chance to defend himself the wind whipped up in a frightening gale. The deafening howl drowned out all sound and threw sand in their faces with such ferocity they had to retreat into the safety of the house for protection. Dean peered out the window and saw rain belting down, soaking the ground. As he watched he noticed that once a huge drop of rain hit the ground and it bounced back breaking into smaller droplets from the impact, those smaller droplets then flew back up to the sky to rejoin with others and fall all over again, creating a continuous cycle of rain, forming a wall of water localised around the house.
'Upset?' Incredulity lined Dean's voice. A half broken lawn chair from the trash pile out front caught the wind and slammed into the glass with such force it caused Dean to jump back.
'Arcs are imbued with an abundance of power, a sign of God's love.' Cas explained, his voice even, unperturbed by the chaotic weather raging outside.
'That much daddy-daughter love is verging on inappropriate.' Dean smirked, nodding suggestively at the clouds darkening the skyline.
In less than the time it took for him to inhale his next breathe, Dean found himself slammed against the far wall, the wind knocked out of him, Cas staring intensely into his eyes. 'Shut up, Dean.' Was all he said before letting Deans' throat go. He hadn't hurt him, but Cas was still pained by his overreaction. He cared for Dean, considering him a brother after all they'd been through, but he could not tolerate a word against his little sister.
On the roof Ezra sat with her knees pulled up to her chest. Salty tears streaked down her face, mingling with the rain that washed them away. Abruptly, she stopped sobbing, dragged herself to her feet and began to yell.
'I need to talk to you.' She looked up, raindrops stinging as they hit her eyes, angrily she tried to blink them away. There was no response.
'Damn you. Face me, coward.' She clenched her fists by her sides, her pleading face turned skyward. 'I know you can hear me. What you did, how could you? It was beyond cruel. I can't do it. I know why you showed me what happens here, but I don't know if I can go through with it.' The anger she tried to push down inside fought its way to the surface. 'Damn the consequences and damn you. You made me this way, you knew all a long that I couldn't change what's going to happen here. I swore my allegiance to you but I can't, I'm sorry.' She fell to her knees. 'This could all end now, but I can't,' her voice dropped to a whisper, 'I just can't. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.' The rain slowed and the clouds evaporated as the sun streaked through, warming everything instantly but all Ezra felt was cold and alone.
'Its stopped.' Sam announced, surprised by the sudden end of the storm. He turned to face Dean and Cas, but found Dean standing alone, the sound of flapping wings and the clink of crystal from the slightly swaying chandelier the only sounds he needed to hear to know Cas had joined Ezra on the roof.
'I'm sorry.' Ezra whispered, her slender frame still heaving from the effort of yelling. She felt warm arms wrap awkwardly around her, and she turning into them, enveloping herself in Cas' embrace.
'What do you have to be sorry for, little sister?' Cas placed a finger gently under Ezra's chin, tilting her head so her eyes met his.
'I've failed.' Ezra breathed. The weight of her words seemed to dim the ever-present light in her eyes and Cas suddenly felt like his heart would break.
'No, Ez. Whatever you think you've done or not done, you could never fail. You're an Archangel, Ezra.' Cas spoke so softly, his voice so full of concern, but his words hit her hard, the anger inside her raising its ugly head once more.
'I'm not an Arch.' She shouted pushing him away.
He took a few steps back in surprise. 'Just because you change your name, doesn't mean you stop…'
Oh, God, Cas.' Ezra yelled, cutting him off. 'Wake up. Don't you see, I've never been an Arch, I'm not even a real angel.' She started to sob again as Cas looked on, her words confusing to him.
'I failed at being an Arch, but he knew I would,' She cast an accusing glare up to the clouds, 'he made me this way, and now we're here and I can see all the possibilities running through my head.' She turned to look up at Cas as he stood a few feet from her. He saw the desperation in her eyes, something he had never seen before, unexpectedly a feeling of nervous worry began to creep into the pit of his stomach.
'If I step right, this happens, if I step left someone dies.' She sobbed. 'It's too much. The burden is too heavy.' Her eyes searched imploringly for some kind of understanding from Cas, but he only looked more bewildered. Anger took her over again. 'I hate this. I hate him.' She growled, casting an angry glare upward, her vision seeming to pierce through the cloud cover to somewhere far beyond.
'Ezriel, stop. This is blasphemous.' Cas chastised.
'You don't understand. All the angels are fighting for the right to choose, to not blindly follow him to their deaths. Free will. But me, I've always been different. I've always had the right to choose for myself and suddenly, now, He's ripped that right away. I have no choice now. I'm just a puppet on a string doing His will, the outcome already written in blood.' Tears streaked down her pale cheeks and dropped onto the roof tiles below, their terracotta colour darkening to ruby red blood.
'If it's God's will…' Cas said uncertainly.
'God's will.' She scoffed. 'Of all of us, you always believed in the great Almighty.' Cas recoiled and she realised how her words had hurt him. 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for all of this. For what's to come, I'm sorry.'
Her rage seemed to deflate and she fell back on her haunches, head downcast. Cas shifted uncomfortably in front of her, not use to the outpouring of emotion from her and the turmoil her words had caused to stir within him. Gingerly he approached her and wrapped his arms around her once more.
In that moment, in his arms, Ezra couldn't resist any longer. She lifted her lips to his and kissed him. Their lips touched ever so slightly and the most brilliant light pulsed between them, as the beat of their grace synchronised and shone in the small space between their bodies, radiating in brilliant light. Then Cas pushed her away.
'No, Ezriel. No.' He said, standing up and stepping back.
'Don't you see,' Her eyes full of tears, looking up at him, shame on her lovely sorrowful face, 'this is why I have failed. He asked me to pledge myself to him, to love only him, but I can't.' Her gaze fell to look at her empty hands.
'This is wrong, Ez.' Cas began to chastise her again. He intended to tell her how he loved and served only God, as she should, but she stopped him.
'I know you could never love me, Cas.' She said quietly but as she spoke again her voice changed, now filled with jealous outrage, 'but don't tell me you only love him. I know about Anna, I've known all along.' Cas started to deny it but any words he thought of felt false, he hated that she knew him so well, that she knew his mind better than he did. 'I mean being down here in the trenches together for so long, I saw it, I watched you and I saw how it hurt you when she was with Dean. I know that you love him too, maybe more than Anna now.'
She watched as Cas paced the rooftop, running a frustrated hand through his scruffy hair.
'Its different.' Cas knew the words were weak. He was confused, the feeling of their kiss, the memory of the heat and of the light between them flashing in his mind. He couldn't think of anything else. Every part of him wanted it again, wanted her again, all of her. But a small part of him held him back. The image and feelings kept repeating in his mind, bombarding his senses with desire and he found himself tongue-tied. He kept pacing, feeling that if he stopped moving he wouldn't be able to hold back from going to her. He thought about their centuries together, how he had admired her, watched her, how, over all the angels in Heaven, he found himself drawn to her. He looked up from his feet and was shocked to find they had carried him back to her. He froze. She stood and met his eyes only for a moment before he turned away. It was enough. She backed away, tears falling on the rooftop, before turning to steam and evaporating in the heat.
'Asrael this cannot…' Cas stopped, realising his mistake midsentence. With a rush of air she was on him, holding him a foot off the rooftop with one hand. She glared into his eyes, pure rage and fury glowing from within her, a look he had only seen while fighting at her side in the fiercest of battles. At that moment she was truly Asrael again. As quickly as it had come the rage faded, overtaken by sadness once more. She dropped him to the ground, and holding his gaze, spoke one simple misery-filled command, 'FORGET'.
She turned and walked away, teetering on the edge of the roof as Cas suddenly became confused.
'What was I saying?' His bewildered eyes looking around him, trying to figure out what he just transpired.
'I don't bloody know. I wasn't listening.' She snapped back at him over her shoulder. 'If you can't keep track of what you're saying why should I? Arrogant tosser.' Ezra growled before dropping off the edge of the roof. Cas was taken aback by her sudden hostile tone and attempted to follow her. Before he reached the edge of the roof the heat of the sun intensified, the air filled with steam as all the rain that had fallen only minutes ago evaporated. He lost sight of her behind a thick wall of hot mist. He reached out to her, calling her name, but the steam burned his hand forcing him to pull back. She had trapped him there, confused and alone, he stood and waited.