Author's notes: Hello, everyone! I just wanna make some things clear first, so I'll just make this a short one then you can go read the story.
Remember when Cas mentioned that his true form's as big as the Chrysler building? Here, angels get bigger the older they get, so Cas and some of the other angels will be about kid-sized :D
That's it. You can go ahead and read the story now!
You and I both are nothing but thieves
We take what we want when we need
I had a chance for a better life
But all that I've known is to
Run, run, run, from a devil in disguise
Like a bullet, a bullet, a bullet into the night
We are the last generation of hope
And I wouldn't mind if
Together we died alone
Bullet – Steel Train
"Hurry up, Castiel! You're slowing us down!" Balthazar called out over his shoulder. He loved his brother, he honestly did, but if Castiel would lag behind him one more time, he was going to kick him into the nearest cloud and hope that he would at least escape detection by then.
"Why are we being chased anyway?" cried out Castiel.
Balthazar did not reply until they reached a path that went downward. "I might've… borrowed something from the Garden as a keepsake." he slyly said. He pulled the golden apple slightly out from where he was keeping it, enough to an extent that Castiel could see it for himself.
Without even turning around, he knew that the face his brother had on right now was anything but pleased.
"You stole from the Garden?" Castiel exclaimed, and now he decided to fly a little faster. "Balthazar, you know that it's forbidden to take anything there! It's no wonder we are being sought out!"
Balthazar tried hard not to snicker. "It's also forbidden for any fledglings to enter the Garden." he remarked.
Behind him, he heard Castiel stop flying for the briefest of seconds before speeding all the way next to him. "You told me we're allowed!" he yelled.
"I lied." said Balthazar.
"Then you deserve whatever punishment they're going to give you!" Castiel huffed out.
The air crackled with electricity and the two of them barely dodged a stream of lightning bolts in time.
"They'll punish you too, you know. It was you who got us into the Garden." Balthazar said, chuckling.
"That's because you lied to me! I would never have done it otherwise." said Castiel worriedly.
"Well, you've always wanted to see what it looked like on the inside, and now you have." Balthazar laughed. "Besides, there's nothing more we can do now. They're after you and me, so we might as well make a hasty retreat."
"Balthazar – "
"Or do you wish to explain the situation to our pursuers?"
If Castiel were human, Balthazar bet his wings that he would be paling by now.
"So what do you suggest we do?" asked Castiel.
Balthazar spared a final survey at where they were. "We can't stay in Heaven; it's too heavily patrolled." he said. "That leaves Earth,"
"Earth? Balthazar, we've… We don't know how to choose a vessel yet, let alone inhabit one." said Castiel.
"Would you stop worrying, brother? Everything is under control. We're…" Balthazar tried not to admit that they were still fledglings, because while that was the truth and while that was actually an advantage right now, admitting that felt like saying that they were weaker, more vulnerable, easy targets. "…not fully grown yet. Only matured angels require vessels. We can interact with what's on Earth as we are without giving away our signature, unlike our older siblings who break and burn everything with a single touch."
Castiel was looking at him with pleading, hopeful blue orbs. "Promise me you're not lying this time," he said.
"I promise, Castiel. And I'll take care of everything once we arrive." said Balthazar, matching his brother's gaze.
Castiel appeared unsure, but he nodded eventually anyway. Together, they escaped Heaven's gates and hurtled down to Earth.
Visits to Earth were never that common, hence landings had not been that tackled. When they tumbled down onto a forest, Balthazar landed on top of Castiel and plowed him into the ground.
"Get... off me… Balthazar." moaned Castiel.
Balthazar was already getting up before his brother even spoke. "Has anyone ever told you that you make a very soft landing pad?" he snickered.
An icy blue glare met him and, for a second, Castiel almost looked threatening.
"Come on, brother; let me help you up." said Balthazar as he pulled Castiel from where he was half-buried in the soil.
Once they both got their bearings, they took in the full scale of their surroundings: it was the middle of the night, the grass made wet by a thick mist. Shadowy trees towered over them and it was virtually like they were in the midst of a gathering of their older siblings which, all things considered, was a daunting thought.
"What do we do now?" Castiel asked.
"Nothing but hide and wait for them to grow tired." said Balthazar.
"That could take decades."
"It's not like we have anything better to do anyway."
Castiel turned away from him and went forward a little bit, staring at the mist. "This is bad. Coming down here… We're just going to get into more trouble. Maybe we should just go back and – "
"No! Castiel, we are not going back to Heaven, not now." Balthazar interjected.
When he saw his brother's frightened expression, he toned down and projected an encouraging aura. "Everything will be fine. If we are going to be punished, we might as well make the most of our time here and enjoy ourselves." He extended himself and spun in place, twisting and curling some of the mist to form a foggy whirlpool around him. "Look at us! We're on Earth; not a lot of fledglings could achieve such a feat!" he proclaimed.
Castiel looked around, as if noticing for the first time that they were indeed where Balthazar said they were. "I suppose you're right." he muttered.
"You suppose? Would it hurt you to show a bit more enthusiasm?" said Balthazar. He glanced at the copious amount of mist and an idea was sparked. "Are you up for a contest of creativity? Or are you afraid that I will beat you once more?"
Castiel stiffened and the light of his Grace grew brighter. "I will not lose again." he said seriously.
"We'll see about that."
They spent a good part of the evening shaping the mist into structures and creatures, each handiwork trying to obliterate the other. A 'tree' fell on a 'bird'. A 'giant' crushed the 'tree'. A 'dragon' annihilated the 'giant'. A 'stick' poked at the 'dragon's' throat and made it throw up so much it died.
("How can a stick kill a dragon?"
"It's a special stick."
"How can it be special? It's a stick!"
"It just is, alright? The whole point of this is to be creative!"
"Fine! But from now on, no more special anything!")
They went back to fabricating things from the mist for a little while longer until they felt a third presence within the area. They cleared out their works and made the mist smooth again; once that was completed, they did their best to hide themselves, which meant dimming their light, concealing their Grace and making themselves as small as possible.
If the newcomer was an angel – specifically, one that was searching for them – fleeing would be a terrible option; the two of them might be fast but the ones after them were faster. If the newcomer turned out to be human then it would also be a risky situation, since humans were not supposed to see angels in their true forms.
After a few seconds, to their relief, the new comer happened to be neither. Regardless, they did not move from where they were huddled; if anything, they made the shadows and mist enveloping them thicker.
A large being emerged from the trees, its shape was that of an exaggeratedly lanky human but its color was a spillage of the darkest of blue speckled with glimmering light. Great power radiated from it, enough to label it a threat. Balthazar turned to Castiel to see if he knew what this creature was; however, he made it apparent that he did not have a clue either.
They watched until the creature vanished from sight, and eventually from their senses. Balthazar got up when he deemed that it was safe. "Let's follow it."
"Why?" Castiel inquired tensely.
"I want to see what it does." he replied, already going after it.
"It floats around in a forest at night." attempted Castiel. "Balthazar, please, let's just go. I don't like this."
Instead, Balthazar grabbed his brother and pulled him forward. "You're always worrying. For all we know, we could've discovered a whole new species! Surely that would be enough to clear our names?" he excitedly pointed out.
"But that kind of discovery is highly unlikely – "
"Unlikely but not impossible." stated Balthazar. "Have faith, Castiel. There's a reason why we saw that creature in the first place."
Finally, Castiel agreed and moved beside him rather than being dragged at the rear.
It did not take long for them to find the creature again, and at that point, they had entered a sort of clearing. They stopped and observed from afar as the creature approached a wooden structure, the type that humans dwelled in.
"I think it's called a house." said Castiel.
"A house? Well, that's a stupid name." Balthazar remarked.
The creature went through the walls and was at once inside the house. In a square opening illuminated by a small fire inside, the two of them could see a tiny human – who was nearly their size – doing… something. The human was waving an object around and making odd, repetitive noises. They were not sure what the human was doing, but it seemed like a very pleasing task.
"Balthazar," Castiel began. "Is this what… 'playing' looks like?" he wondered.
"I think it is." said Balthazar in awe after a while.
Angels were never allowed to play; there was simply too much that needed to be done and they had been told that activities such as 'playing' were a waste of time. As they continued to watch, they wondered if something this enjoyable should really be banned, they wondered if there was more to existence than just training to be soldiers.
They had completely forgotten about the creature they had been tracking until it appeared in the same room as the human. Suddenly, the predicament was not so light-hearted anymore. The creature was definitely supernatural, and the reality that it was in such close proximity to a human will never end well for the latter. The human appeared oblivious to the creature as it got nearer and nearer.
Before either Balthazar or Castiel could think of what to do, the creature produced a pouch from its dark depths. The creature reached in and sprinkled its contents – sand, as it turned out – over the human. The human's movements gradually slowed before stilling altogether; the human dropped its play-thing and fell limply forward.
Balthazar felt Castiel cower beside him, but he kept his brother in place.
"It just killed that human." whimpered Castiel.
"We… We don't know that for sure." said Balthazar, although even he did not believe his own words.
The creature then towered over the human; what followed after was the creature scooping out the human's eyes.
Castiel cringed and sniveled and Balthazar found himself copying him.
"Balthazar, let's go. I don't want to be on Earth anymore." pleaded Castiel.
As much as Balthazar wanted to leave, several thoughts stopped him. "We can't just abandon this. We're responsible for this." he said.
"We didn't do anything!" Castiel exclaimed.
"I know, and we should've. We just watched that human die and get its eyes taken out. We could have stopped that creature before it even got here!" said Balthazar. "That human died because of us. We should… We should avenge it!"
Castiel looked as if he did not know what to do anymore. "I don't want to get into any more trouble." he said quietly.
With this attitude, Balthazar wondered if Castiel had made the right choice in becoming a soldier. "You want to be a soldier, right? This is what soldiers do: they fight those who did wrong!"
Castiel broke away from his gaze but Balthazar knew that he had made his point. "We'll do it for the human." he ultimately said.
"For the human." Balthazar agreed. Then, he realized another thing. "What do we do?"
A calculating look entered Castiel. "That pouch. If we get it and use it on the creature…"
"I think that's a very apt punishment. Good work, brother." admired Balthazar.
Castiel smiled, which was a rare occurrence. "I'll keep it occupied while you steal the pouch." he instructed.
They went their separate ways almost immediately afterward; Balthazar hid in the shadows while Castiel sped off the other direction to wait for the creature to exit. When the creature finally came out of the house, Castiel started to telekinetically snap off branches and hurl them one by one at the target.
The creature was hit by the first batch of branches, and Balthazar was thankful that at least they were dealing with something solid. Unfortunately, the creature quickly recovered and soon it was dodging branches fluidly. If the creature continued to adapt, Balthazar knew that it would only be a matter of time before the creature reached Castiel; Balthazar decided it was time for him to act.
He crept toward the creature from behind, trying to remember where its pouch was hidden. It would have been simpler if he could just telekinetically summon the pouch, but the creature's power was blocking him from doing so. The creature was just within his reach when he felt a wave of power fleetingly go through it; less than a second later, Balthazar witnessed Castiel being blasted away by the creature's outstretched hand. From the sound of it, Castiel was hurt.
Fear filled him for an instant, immobilizing him; he was alone now and his brother could be severely injured. Balthazar wanted to fall back but then remembered the point of doing all of this; if he retreated, everything would have been in vain. He was about to get a hold of the creature when – too late – his presence was acknowledged and Balthazar had to distance himself.
"What is the meaning of this?" the creature rasped, its voice as thin as frost in the air and as sharp as broken light.
Balthazar found it hard to speak all of a sudden. He got into a battle-ready stance yet the pose was off-balance. "You killed that human." he said.
The creature went closer to him, squinting what had to be its eyes in assessment. "I put him to sleep; him and the rest of his siblings." it replied.
Sleep? What was sleep, Balthazar wondered. Another term for murder perhaps? "And you stole the human's eyes." he pressed on.
"That," it began. "Is true. I need human eyes to feed my family."
Where was Castiel? "You won't get away with this. We'll stop you." Balthazar said.
The creature laughed, which was a misleadingly gentle, soothing sound. "Stop me? You have some nerve believing you can stand against me, insolent fly." It glanced up at the sky and returned to Balthazar wearing a livid expression. "You and your accomplice have overthrown my schedule! There is no way I can collect enough eyes to satisfy my family now."
At that, Balthazar was appreciative for this small consolation.
"Although," the creature said slowly. "I don't think they would mind a substitution in their diet."
Before Balthazar could process things, the creature had its pouch out and practically its entire worth of sand was coming straight for him.
That was Castiel's voice. When Balthazar was up to pace with reality again, Castiel had already pushed him several feet away. This was a good turn of events; with the advantage of numbers on their side, and with the stock of enchanted sand out of the way, they could beat this creature. Though without the sand, they needed to think of another plan, but now the creature was without its main weapon and certainly his and Castiel's combined power can overcome their adversary.
"We have you now." announced Balthazar confidently.
"Quite not." it said, grinning. "My sand may be gone, but I have your brother."
Balthazar tensed and immediately turned to where Castiel was. He discovered that the sand that had been meant to hit him did not fall to the ground; instead, the sand – every grain of it, it seemed – had struck Castiel when he pushed him out of the way.
"Balthazar," Castiel called out weakly as he stumbled backward into a tree. "I don't… feel well."
The light of his Grace was flickering and Castiel was having more and more trouble trying to keep himself straight.
He was dying.
"Castiel!" Balthazar rushed over to his brother and acted as his support. No, no, no, no. Castiel cannot die; this was not supposed to happen!
"It seems that my sand has a slow effect on angels, but it's working, undeniably working. He will be asleep soon enough and then I shall have him." it purred. "I wonder how the eye of an angel will taste like?"
Balthazar held Castiel tighter, striving not to panic at the fact that his brother's light was getting dimmer.
"I have been given many names, little ones: The Sandman, Ole Lukøje, Morpheus... But you can call me your worst nightmare." the creature said gleefully.
Balthazar had had enough. "Castiel, we're leaving." he said.
They took flight. It was strange how in Heaven they had fled to escape punishment, and now on Earth they were fleeing to escape death.
For those who are curious, Cas made the 'special stick' :D
How's my attempt at fledgling!Cas and fledgling!Baltie? Good? Bad? Horrible? Needs some work? Does it sound like them? o_x
Bit of trivia: there are actually two Sandmen out there; a good one and a bad one. The bad one's obviously the one who steals eyes.
REVIEW FOR YOUR LIVES IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! XD