Screwing With Fate: Random Acts of History Alteration
Summary: She's really pretty when she's angry. Balthazar/Fate (Atropos).
Author's Note: Yeeeeeeaaah… More Balthazar/Fate. I KNOW I said that Balthazar/Bela was my new OTP, but then they introduced Fate, and dammit, I couldn't help it. I think I like Bela better with Dean anyway. I'm not dropping the Balthazar/Bela pairing entirely, just not indulging in it as much anymore.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. It belongs to Eric Kripke.
Castiel was a brave and stalwart soldier, an angel of the Lord with his Father's grace to guide and protect him. He did not quiver in the face of demons, of the archangels, of Raphael and his army, and he had barely even trembled under Lucifer's scrutiny atStullCemetery. He was hardened against many an enemy, and there was very little that could cause him to show outward fright.
But while Castiel was an angel, he was also a male.
And all men, as an imbued survival instinct meant to keep their mates from snapping their heads off praying-mantis style out of frustration compiled over a certain amount of time and a number of issues, instinctively flinch when they hear an angry woman shouting their name in a very, very aggressive manner.
Before he could defend himself, Raphael's number one target found himself pressed up against a tree- the fact that it was in his preferred heaven and therefore not technically real did not stop his back from hurting. As well as his throat, which was currently being held in an ironclad grip.
Atropos may have looked, as Sam said, 'like a librarian' but that didn't mean that she wasn't powerful. She had been sincerely irked when she had confronted him over what was now being referred to as the 'Titanic Incident', but she hadn't been so wildly angry that she'd been driven to physical aggression or violence.
"At-Ro-Pos-" Castiel croaked her name out almost as three separate words. "What-?" She looked him in the eye, her own blazing, and hiss two words:
Castiel's eyes slipped shut, and he silently prayed to his Father, something to the effect of Father, in all of your infinite wisdom and glory, why did you have to make Balthazar such an idiot?
Castiel tapped insistently at Atropos' hand until she loosened her grip enough to allow him to speak. "Wha- What- What did- What has Balthazar done?" Now, he silently added.
"Your- Brother-" Atropos snarled. "Went back in time and gave Colonial America the ability to make nuclear weapons. I don't know when it was that you last took a trip down to Earth, but half of it's been nuked!"
"I gave him no such orders." Castiel said quickly. This was the truth; Hell, giving the colonial Americans nuclear technology wouldn't do anything to produce more souls. It didn't even have a point, really, other than to See What Would Happen.
And damn if Let's See What Happens When I Do This wasn't Balthazar's newfound motto nowadays.
"I'm aware of that!" Atropos snarled, dropping her hand from his throat. Castiel could vaguely recall going to visit the Winchesters some time ago and entering the room when Sam was watching a nature program on hikers surviving attacks perpetrated by rabid woodland creatures. If Atropos, with this expression on her face, had been present at any of those attacks, both hiker and rabid animal would have taken off running in the opposite direction. But there would be no tales of survival to follow, because she would kill whatever was within range.
Castiel shook his head a bit and returned his attention to the angry goddess in front of him.
"I am aware that you didn't order him to do anything, Castiel, and that is my problem! That arrogant, idiotic, hedonistic son of a bitch-" Castiel might have taken offense, saying that they only had a father and no mother and that by this statement Atropos was calling God a bitch, but it then occurred to him that it would be foolish to get killed for some righteous indignation. "…is doing this solely to piss me OFF!"
Castiel opened his mouth to speak, but she plowed on. "Last week he went back in time and stopped King Henry VIII from executing Anne Boleyn. The week before that he stopped Alexander the Great from conquering Egypt. And the week before that, he stopped Moxie from being invented, and don't ask me why that's so important to the current state of mankind, but it is! He has been up to this crap for over a month and I have had it up to HERE WITH HIM!"
She had spoken quickly, and Castiel took a minute to process those words before responding. "So why are you attacking me?" He asked.
"Because you-" Atropos jabbed a finger at his chest. "-Seem to be the only person with anything even remotely resembling control over him!"
"So you want me to stop him?"
"Yes." Castiel took a slow, deep breath.
"Atropos," He began. "I don't have as much control over Balthazar as you might think. More or less, I've been forced to bargain and all but plead with him for some of the weightier things I've asked of him thus far. I-"
"I. Don't. Care how you do it, Castiel. But you had better find a way to convince him. And tell your brother," She spat out the word like it was a blasphemous curse, "That if he screws up history one- more- time, I am going to screw him up, permanently!"
And just like that, she was gone.
The entire confrontation had lasted maybe a little less than five minutes, but Castiel felt much like it had lasted an hour.
Castiel was a brave soldier.
But Atropos was scary. And surprisingly strong. And more than likely to bring serious harm to him, his troops or Bobby Singer and the Winchesters if he failed to follow through and bring a stop to Balthazar's shenanigans.
And so when Balthazar came waltzing up to him about half an hour later, hands in his pockets and totally Zen with the world, Castiel was a touch peeved.
"Balthazar," Castiel began testily. "Why do you insist on goading Atropos' temper? She's already disinclined towards you because of the Titanic Incident." Balthazar seemed to give that some thought.
"Oh, well…" He gave a leery sort of grin. "I don't know if you've noticed, Cas, but she's really pretty when she's angry."
For the first time in a long time, Castiel felt like finding the nearest wall and banging his head against it.
"She came here a little while ago and threatened me to put a stop to your fooling around with the time-space continuum."
"What did she threaten you with?"
"Nothing out loud, but I believe there was an implied threat of severe bodily harm. I'd be lying if I said I wanted to test her and find out exactly what she had in mind." Balthazar gave a light chuckle and nodded, as though Castiel had just made a witty remark about the weather or some inane political scandal.
"Who would?" Castiel's eyes narrowed.
Castiel would readily admit that he was much more naïve than Balthazar when it came to relationships. Castiel had been a one-track, one-minded soldier before he'd rebelled, and had given very little thought to romance, particularly the part where you became physically attracted to someone else. In the Host, they called any instance of such 'lustful thinking' and sent you for reeducation involving God's will and reminded you to be a good little soldier who didn't contemplate intimate relations with anyone else.
He honestly did not see the logic, however, in annoying Atropos to the point of murder. At what point did a romantic relationship fit in there? Did Balthazar plan to bargain for a date in exchange for not disturbing the natural flow of time again?
"Like I said, Cassie, she is quite pretty when she's mad." Balthazar grinned again.
"What are you getting out of this? Other than a good laugh, apparently." His brother muttered, squinting at Balthazar, apparently in the hopes that if he did so long enough his skin might peel away and he'd be able to see whatever glitch it was that was making Balthazar into a suicidal idiot. "Atropos is not happy with you. And given that you are attracted to her, I would think that you would want her to be happy with you so that she, in turn, will become attracted to you."
Balthazar chuckled and shook his head. "Cas, Cas, Cas. Some people like to go the romance her and make her fall in love with me way of it- you seem like you'd go for it- but I don't." He leaned forward conspiratorially. "My strategy, Cas, is to get dear Atropos to a point where she is so overwhelmed with emotion- in this case, the emotions fueling a desire to cut my throat- that she can't tell the difference between love and hate. And then I make my move."
He smiled, and the way he said it made Castiel believe that, to Balthazar, it made absolute and total sense. It was the most logical plan in the world. There was no way it could fail.
Castiel looked his brother in the eye.
"Atropos is going to castrate you. And don't you dare think that I'm going to come running to your rescue when she does: You brought this on yourself."
This was, by far, his best work.
Going back in time and actually making a 'real UFO' (Gabriel hadn't been the only one adept at illusions) attack London and Boston in 1968 was hilarious. This time, and also the previous one involving nukes and the Founding Fathers, he wasn't stopping something from happening: He was making it happen. As he stood on a dark hillside outside ofBoston and watched the tripods stalk through the city, he could barely contain his glee.
That is, until he felt the unmistakable presence of a Very Angry Woman right behind him.
As Balthazar jumped away, his invisible wings propelling him upwards, he felt as though he had just narrowly avoided being grabbed (And most likely throttled). He spun in midair and landed on one of the higher branches in a very tall pine tree, immediately looking down to discern Atropos' location.
"Balthazar, get down here." Atropos snarled.
"Come now, darling: We both know that if I come down there, you're going to hit me or set me on fire. Or both."
Atropos gave him a surprisingly dark look as she produced a lighter from the pocket of her blazer. "I don't know what you mean," She said coolly, cocking her head to the side and flicking the lighter open and shut.
Balthazar felt a dim stirring of alarm somewhere inside him, and he started to wonder if he might not have gotten a little over his head.
As painful as it was, listening to Cas may have actually been beneficial for once.
"You can't tell me that you don't at least appreciate the originality."
"H.G. Wells already did it." Atropos snapped, crossing her arms over the book she was always carrying and tapping her foot.
"Not for real. His book was just made into a radio broadcast that freaked some people out: I made it into an actual alien attack."
"Oh, well good for you!" Atropos cooed with mocking cheerfulness. "Would you like a gold star? A lollypop? A kick in the ass?"
"That last one sounds painful."
"Oh, why don't you pull the stick out, Aisa?" Atropos twitched. He happened to know for a fact that the only people allowed to call her that were her sisters and a few choice Greco-Roman gods. "It's not like you have a job to do anymore, right?"
That was, perhaps, not the best thing to point out.
"I would still have one if it wasn't for your brother and his pet humans!" She barked.
"And that pesky mutt too?" Balthazar mumbled.
"What was that?"
Atropos could not remember a time when she had been more livid. How dare Balthazar just keep right on disrupting what little order what left to the time-stream? He was the chaos to her order, a thorn in her side that she just couldn't take anymore.
"Get, down, here," She huffed dangerously. "And tell E.T. to go home!"
Balthazar raised his eyes heavenward thoughtfully. Then he looked back down at her.
"DO IT!" He grinned.
Atropos let out an enraged scream that was not as cathartic as she had hoped it might be.
"Why?" She shrieked up at him, even throwing her precious leather-bound book down onto the ground in her frustration. "What in the hell did I do to deserve having you constantly trying to get under my skin? You have done nothing but spite me ever since that god-damned Titanic Incident and I've had it up to here with your-!"
Balthazar figured that if he was going to make a move, he'd better do it now.
He was down from the tree in a matter of a split second, after which he wrapped his arms around Atropos' waist, leaned it and kissed her, cutting her off mid-tirade.
As it was, Balthazar still had some small, lingering doubts about his plans, and was well aware that he was, quite literally, putting his balls on the line by getting this close to Atropos when she was clearly very, very angry. If his plan didn't work (and he somehow managed to live), he would end up hobbling back to heaven either violently mutilated or half-alive, and would still yet have to be subject to Castiel saying "I told you so" (Which, from a little brother, is worse than any amount of physical trauma).
After a moment- a long, tense moment in which Balthazar may or may not have seriously feared for his life- she responded.
Ha-ha! Balthazar sang in his head as he felt her nails dig into his neck and back as she deepened the kiss. He spun her around and promptly pressed her against the tree. Point for me, Cassie! It did work!
Now all he had to do was hope that she stayed caught up in the moment long enough to forget the alien-apocalypse playing out in the city behind them.
"You know," He muttered as she began to nip at his neck, "When I offered to take the stick out, this is what I meant."
"Pissing me off?" She grumbled as he began to tug on her blazer.
"Getting you on your back, actually."
When Balthazar returned to heaven some hours later with a number of bruises and a big, winning grin on his face, Castiel just stared, then shook his head in wonderment and decided if maybe he should avoid any and all intimate relationships from that point onward.