Is this – is he fallen? He does not believe so. This begs the question then, what is he?

He is falling by degrees.

He cannot heal, cannot banish demons whence they came.

He is – impotent – the demon known as Meg had said.

He is cut off from the Host. Hated, hunted, reviled.

He is a pariah.

But what is he?

He is cut off from his brothers. This makes him – he feels… the feeling is dull, but he thinks that maybe he identifies it properly.

He is sad. He is lonely.

Feelings alone imply a non angelic nature. But the shadow of wings on his back offer a comforting weight between his - his vessel's? – shoulder blades. He is still able to fly, to hurl himself from this place to the next. He still treads through the alternate spaces. He cannot pass Enochian symbols. He does not need food, or water, or sleep.

He is not human.

Yet, he has free will. He is an abomination.

He thinks suddenly, of Sam Winchester. He himself is new to free choice and is only just starting to realize how easy it is to make the wrong one. How it can feel… inconsequential. Harmless. Right, even. Dean's brother has always been something of a mystery to him, and he wonders if he might have prevented – some of, of any of this - had he simply gotten to know the man. He doubts it, and the thought is pointless, as the taint on the man prevented him from ever trying.

But it is difficult, he thinks, to be the only one. This is something he now understands. It is disconcerting to be uncertain of what you are, of what you are becoming. To be uncertain you can stop it.

He is alone and...

Cold washes over him, icy and dark. Is this what it is…to feel… is he… afraid?

But he has always had Fear, has lived by Fear. This is different… heavy, crushing, suffocating. Fear of the Father has never felt like this. It is as though all the warmth inside him is being smothered. Hopelessness, he understands suddenly.

He is hopeless.

He pushes back it at the darkness. Reminds himself, I can do all things through God who gives me strength. A candle inside of him flickers back to life.

He understands now, what he did not Before. And he thinks he comprehends Sam Winchester just a little more. Something new surges through him – spreading from his soul, outward. Not quite camaraderie, but connection. Understanding. Empathy?

He is unsure.

He is unsure and this causes something red-hot to flash across his soul. He breathes in, biting his lip. This development is not something new, but he has not identified the sensation yet. Another emotion?

He contemplates. It is something like weariness, but with more force. It is not righteousness, but it has a certain kind of strength, a – fervor – is still incapable of identifying it. The flash returns, remains. The jagged edges of the feeling bite and tear and build in pressure…

A noise pushes from his throat, strangled and awful. It is a hiss and a cry but neither one, exactly, and it explodes from him with force and the desire to break something. He stands, whirling, fists clenched.

When it ends he is standing, face turned toward the sky, arms out by his side. What little pressure remains escapes as he stands there, chest heaving and – he is – breathing?

The revelation stuns him and it is serendipitous and unexpected – ironic? – when the skies open up at this exact moment.

The rain surprises him and he laughs as it hits his face. This feels, too. In a different sort of way. The rain slides down his face, cool and refreshing and it feels more real than it has ever felt before. It is lovely, refreshing.

He blinks because the rain makes it difficult to see, and stretches his wings.

He has been in heaven, but he has been nowhere, too, and right now he is not either place.

He is here and he is somewhere beyond. In both and neither at the same time. His heart beats and he breathes but he is not human. He is loathed by his brothers but he has not lost his Grace.

This is - he is - Liminality. The place in between.

He throws his arms and wings out, face and palms upturned toward Heaven.

Warm water tracks from the corner of his eyes, and the rain does not touch his wings.

He laughs as he cries, and cannot begin to fathom why.