Author's Notes: So I really love Michael, and I really love the relationship between him and Dean. So I wanted to explore it more, especially after I found this quote, by C.S Lewis in an amazing novel called Till We Have Faces, that just seemed to fit perfectly. Yes, this is slash, blasphemous slash at that, so if that offends you, I suggest you just pass this story by. I welcome any kind of feedback here, especially since this is only my second attempt in the Supernatural fandom. Also, the title comes from the Florence + The Machine song of the same name. Again, this story may also be found at my writing journal on livejournal by the same name of Restless Brook.
Warnings: Slash involving archangels. Also, spoilers for 5x14, "My Bloody Valentine" and some for 5x13, "The Song Remains The Same."
Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with Supernatural. It all belongs to Kripke and the CW. I'm just having a little fun for the sake of entertainment.
"Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood."
-C.S Lewis, Till We Have Faces.
He perches like an eagle in the most obscenely obscure corner of Heaven, invisible even to his oldest brothers and sisters, his sight focused on the empty space just behind the various angel soldiers gathered like field mice below. He is at once above and away from all the turmoil currently escalating both in Heaven and on Earth; this is his most cherished spot in all of Creation. Tucked away within a grove of elm trees, the meadow he dwells in now manages to afford Michael quite the view of both the celestial and mortal realms. Such seclusion is immaculate. Immaculate, like all of his father's grand designs.
He sits, watching no one single action in particular. He ponders beauty and wisdom as leaves colored like the golden eyes of his father spiral down like his brother's fall from grace. As the leaves pile into mountains, he is reminded of the strange, human attachment to nature, and inevitably, he thinks of Dean Winchester.
Perhaps the most imperfect being ever designed by his Father, and yet still destined to be his true vessel. His most powerful weapon yet, actually, though the boy does not yet know this. He recalls their first meeting, tastes the lingering acridity of the boy's stubborn nature, so very much like Lucifer, in his mouth. The way he clings to empty hopes and aspirations – the way he still believes he can win this war on his own.
He sighs, trying not to give in to the rash irritation gurgling like lava within his holy blood. He knows better than anyone the trials and tribulations of patience, and he knows he must succeed in triumphing over them in order to triumph over his brother. He knows this, and still he struggles. He refuses to sink to the levels of one such as Zachariah, all brutish demands and Plebian threats. There is no grace to his movements, and with every brash step forward he takes, the inevitability of destiny recedes twelve steps further.
For his patience, he, the highest of the archangels, remains confined to the celestial sphere, giving orders, and overseeing the heavenly prison and its occupants, including, of course, that unfortunate incident with Anna. Another one of Zachariah's rather disastrous ideas that almost resulted in absolute ruination of the scheme of things. Of course, the excursion hadn't been a complete waste. It was through time travel he had been able to first converse with his future vessel.
He has been especially thinking of Dean Winchester as of late. Nothing unusual, considering the boy still refuses to accept his destiny in spite of everything. Yet, even when his mind mulls over other matters, inevitably his thoughts meander back to the eldest Winchester against his will. Somehow, something else about the boy ultimately fascinates him, something he isn't sure he has a name for, exactly. He frowns down at the nothingness at this thought, brooding like a pretentious intellectual, as Gabriel would have told him, wearing his trademark smirk.
Gabriel. The name resonates painfully in his chest, like the last echoes of a sorrowful symphony. He would have had an answer for this...odd fascination. Gabriel, out of all of the angels, had always held the widest range of knowledge of human affairs. He understood those ridiculous mechanisms known as emotions more thoroughly than any other angel, excluding Lucifer, of course, who submitted most unwisely to his own. Gabriel harbored a particular liking for humans, an affection that had always baffled Michael, personally. Therefore, it only made sense to elect him as God's messenger, the bearer of peace and goodwill.
He misses Gabriel almost as much as he misses Lucifer. He wonders what's become of the most benign of them, the one who always knew how to make all of the garrisons smile. He recalls returning from the battle leading to Lucifer's expulsion to find Gabriel suddenly absent. He distinctly remembers the agony in his eyes just prior to the Fall, the epitome of the sorrow he himself felt but was never allowed to reveal.
For Michael has always been a warrior, the right hand of God since his conception. All he has ever known are divine justice and holy wrath. Eternal obedience. The oldest son, meant to serve as an example for all the rest. He, the oldest brother, charged with the task of looking after the youngest, and failing miserably. Lucifer, Gabriel, Uriel, Anna – now, Castiel. He is responsible for letting them all down.
So he understands Dean Winchester's point of view quite well. He, too, knows the burdens wrought by a disappointed, largely father. (He does not know exactly when he has last seen God, only realizes that it has been at least a couple of centuries since they last spoke.) Yet he still does not question fate the way Dean does. He does not regret his undying devotion to the cause of destiny. Perhaps, for this reason, he is mystified by his vessel. They both come from irregular, divine families as the eldest, and they both serve as soldiers in the perpetual fight against darkness. Dean Winchester no longer takes orders well. Michael never questions his decision to continually obey.
Perhaps he is jealous, in some slight way. The idea makes him scoff. Him, jealous of a mere, unimportant little man? Absolutely absurd. As an angel he never feels envy, one of the most loathsome of his brother's creations. Pity, if that, seems a more accurate description. He could never envy the boy's decrepit lifestyle. He just wonders how much longer Dean Winchester can go on deluding himself in denying the inevitable.
He sighs as he senses the tension flowing like a river throughout his celestial body. He so dearly wishes he could walk on Earth at this moment. Physical walking has always proven an excellent remedy for his frustration. For now, lingering in the corners of Heaven will have to do.
The slightest breeze dances across his vision, scatters his thoughts like the many tiny pebbles buried beneath the path cutting across this secret meadow. He struggles not to fidget, instead attempts meditation. He needs peace and calm more than anything else at this moment. He needs to just not think, if only for one moment.
Two words, just barely whispered. So deceivingly soft; they pierce as sharp as the edge of a rusted chainsaw. Coated with the acidic fragrance of stolen alcohol, their presence stains his mind with their utter desperation. He starts instantly from his passive state, and he knows.
Dean Winchester, calling on the divine. Well, miracles do happen; he would know. A kind of quiet pride emerges at this crack in the boy's obsolete nature. He would be outright amused and pleased, if not for the alien sensation that aches, growing within him, a weary soldier calling out for his wounded companion. He is compelled, drawn to the boy's pain. He feels no hesitation in reaching out to him, like the flames of a candle stretching towards the wings of a moth.
Dean is the one who initiated contact, illuminating the connection inherent between them, guiding the archangel directly to his whereabouts. So now Michael sees through the Enochian sigils branded on his ribcage, (drawing forth a strange kind of anger from him, the markings of another brother's betrayal and possession of something not rightfully his) sees the lean body in the leather jacket leaning against the darkly beautiful, metal and steel contraption by his side. He watches silently as green eyes quiver and the bottle slips from between shaking hands, but does not wait for the inevitable crash of tears and glass against pavement. He does not question his impulse. Instead, he indulges, and descends.
He does not wonder as to why he is making this personal visit. The need to coerce the boy to his cause lingers like thinning smoke above the rest of his thoughts; constant, but not the real reason for his journey. It does not compare to the blazing embers of something indefinable burning throughout the rest of him as the mortal realm draws ever closer.
He arrives on Earth in a matter of minutes, slowing only to form a plan as to how he might approach Dean without driving him away. While he cannot directly communicate with his vessel in physical form on Earth, he can still approach him; still surround him in holy light. He finds that, much to his surprise, this is all he wants.
He approaches the junkyard with caution, slowly slithering forward, serpentine in his motions. He listens as the other Winchester screams in agony, tastes the echoes in the bitter night air as they resonate through the older brother's body. He tenses as he recognizes the feeling, recognizes the helplessness of Dean's situation. As Sam Winchester wastes away in the basement, Michael imagines Lucifer rotting down beneath the deepest pits of Hell.
He continues moving forward even as Dean collapses onto the ground. He creeps closer until he is able to reach out and touch the other's cold cheek with his warmth.
"Fuck off. That wasn't a yes." The words stumble out of his mouth, swollen from alcohol and loosened sorrow. Michael ignores the rude command, brings an extension of his warmth to the boy's other cheek so that he cradles the handsome face in his grasp.
At first he struggles, twitching in an attempt to break the archangel's vice grip. But he's drunk and dull, too sluggish from pulling the weight of his own darkness for far too long, and Michael's glowing like a star all around him. Blinding him.
"Let go of me, you – you bastard…" Dean releases his resistance with much the same carelessness as when he dropped the whiskey bottle, sinking down further as Michael completely encases him with his entire celestial body.
There is so much he wants to say. He yearns to speak, to communicate with his vessel just how much he wants him to stop hurting. The weight of this strange sensation unfurls further as Dean's breath beneath him grows lighter, less stable. He breathes in the angel's presence just as the angel begins to fill the most lacking corners of his soul. He gasps as Dean writhes, surrendering his body in an entirely different way.
As he strokes and caresses, he listens to the erratic rhythm of Dean's beating heart; he thinks he begins to understand.
So, too, apparently, does Dean.
"Oh God. Oh God. Yes."