disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to best friend and les and. um. idek. it is what it is, i guess.
notes: no shipping. just speculation about what would happen if the two worlds were crossed.

title: seashells and silver water
summary: She might have been his sister, but it was less painful than that. — Alexiel, Dean.

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The first time they ever met, she very nearly took his head off.

He fell and she stood over him. He'd tried to kill her—shot blindly in the dark and punctured through her wing. She'd bled.

Alexiel had always hated bleeding.

She'd swung and he fell. She pressed the tip of her sword to his throat, iced in silence and the red-blodded vengeance that came with being an organic being. The sickness of the thing was that she was human even though she was an angel, and that killing living beings was the worst part.

Alexiel tilted her head and smiled with her sword up and to his throat, down at this sad little human man with green eyes. There was defiance there, caught in green and freckles, and she pulled herself back from ending his life.

Nanatsusaya's edge hovered close to the child's throat and Alexiel could hear it singing—singing for bloodlust and war, and she had always loved Lucifer so very dearly.

"Hurry up, bitch. End it," said the child, almost growling in his anger. He spat diluted red to the ground.

Alexiel had never been the sort to take orders from a human child, and reverse psychology had no meaning to an angel.

"What's your name?" she asked.

"Why should I tell you?"

Alexiel crossed her arms. Oh, but he did remind her of Kurai.

(Poor, sweet Kurai.)

"I could just force it out of you, you know," Alexiel murmured. She was an angel and still, God loved her so. Her wings flared large and white, the haze of them blinding. God still loved her so.

The boy bared his teeth at her.

"Dean," he said at last. "Dean Winchester."

She looked down at him for another moment with her head tipped to the side, long brown curls snaking their way down her body. Then she reached out; presented him with an open palm. "Would you like a hand?"

Dean stared at her, entirely flabbergasted.

(What kind of lady was she?)

"I'm Alexiel," she said. "I won't kill you. I promise."

Dean jerked his head at Nanatsusaya's sharp edge, looking uncomfortable with it humming in her hand. Alexiel twitched her wrist to watch the light slide along its edge, slick like oil, and slid it away in its sheath. She could hear the clamour from the sword, the mutiny and the misery. She shut it away and helped the child up. He shook her off. Alexiel was not phased.

"So what brings you to this part of town, lady?" he asked.

"A murderer," she said.

"Me, too."

"I know," Alexiel said. "Would you like to come along?"

/ / /

The Dead Thing came at them with claws raised and jaw open, gaping maw and sharp teeth. It was a bubbled mass of flesh, half-rotted away and smelling of sewer rat and human dung.

Dean dove out of the way with a gun in his hand.

Alexiel sang it to sleep and let him put a bullet through its head.

(There was no need to disillusion him just quite yet, she thought.)

/ / /

"Castiel...?" she tried the name out. It was foreign on her tongue but it tingled with the familiar taste of the Holy. Another Loved child, then. God did love so many of his children, but so few were truly Loved.

"Yeah, Cas."

"No," said, "that was after my time."

He looked at her with narrowed eyes. He had a very expressive face, Alexiel thought. Beautiful and espressive and he loved so very transparently. It was something to behold. "How the hell's that possible?"

Alexiel shrugged. "I've been alive a very long time."

"Doesn't explain how you dunno him."

"I rebelled a very long time ago," she specified. She wasn't inclined to tell him how long, because he would bobble. And Alexiel rather liked that he didn't bobble at her. Everyone else did, and it was annoying—even Lucifer had stared at her blood-soaked hands with awe and soot-streaked horror.

No one wanted an impure Princess. God had not wanted his impure little girl (she had always been the favourite; his favourite girl), and Alexiel stared at Dean and flicked dark curls over her shoulder to smile at him in a sad way.

"Do you love him?" she asked. "Your angel, I mean."

He looked like he couldn't have answered her if it had saved his soul. He looked like he didn't know the answer himself.

Alexiel brushed her fingers over his freckles to give him so peace, because she knew that look.

"He... Alex, he's family," Dean said.

But his voice was broken and rough and Alexiel knew, she knew that no one talked about family that way. His voice was sick with itself, shaking and shrinking and pulling up and in with his own self-hatred.

Oh, but Alexiel knew that feeling.

He loved his angel desperately.

/ / /

"That's my brother," Dean half-huffed, half-grinned.

There was a note of fatherly pride there in his voice and Alexiel wondered if God ever felt like that about the things he'd created—like there was beauty in seashells and silver water, like there was beauty in fallen trees and burning forests and love, perhaps.

But perhaps not.

Dean's brother was taller than anyone Alexiel had ever seen and she looked up at him, contemplative.

He grinned like the sunshine down at her.

Alexiel stared at him, amazed that he wasn't dead.

She glanced at Dean.

He loved this boy fiercely.

Alexiel felt her heart clench. And she did have a heart, she had one, because she could feel the beat underneath her ribs. It beat stronger every moment, determined to live—determined to evade the Death that came for everything else. One day, it would come for these two, as well.

The thought made her inexplicably sad.

"Hey," she said, wrapping her arm around herself and grinning with her hand stuck out in that awkward manner humans seemed to favour. "I'm Alex."

/ / /

They were cooking in their shared heat with Sam bleeding on the floor, and Alexiel would destroy them all but she understood Dean—she understood his need to protect his younger brother. She understood the devotion in him, because it was something that she still knew personally.

Rosiel was still her brother and though she loved God and though she loved Lucifer, she loved Rosiel most of all (just not the way he wanted her to love him. Alexiel would never love him the way he wanted her to love him). She screamed with no sound and laughed with no reason and watched as Dean Winchester aimed to save all the beings in the world by destroying everything else. They were disgustingly alike, she thought, revolted and fascinated all at once and all at the same time. He loved his brother more than anything.

Or, she amended, he wanted the boy to be happy more than anything. More than he wanted his own happiness. If the boy—Sam, the boy's name was Sam—were to die, Alexiel thought, Dean would cease his fight.

And that just wouldn't do at all.

Alexiel smiled and tore the Dead Thing's heart out with her bare hands.

Dean watched with a slightly pained look on his face. "You've done this before," he said and it wasn't a question.

Alexiel nodded, her lip curled up in distaste. "My whole existence. I center myself at war."

Dean looked like he didn't understand (or maybe he did), but Alexiel didn't blame him. She was sure—Castiel?—had told him about the unending abyss that was living forever. What was there to do, when one couldn't die?

All organic things had a time limit; Death came for them all. And an organic thing she was, save for that time limit. She looked at Dean with his bloody knife and she smiled slowly and softly like lace and ribbons with the Dead Thing's still heart in her hand.

"You're doomed, you know," she said.

Dean blinked and his head shot up, with those green eyes slit and wary. He was always wary around her which made sense, she thought distantly, because she was not a healthy being.

"What?" he asked.

"Doomed."

He didn't ask why, and Alexiel thought that it was better like that. She didn't want to tell him the way that she could see the wings closing in on him; the tell-tale sign of angelic ownership tagged him and burned him in her eyes.

And he thought he was free.

The illusion of it made her grit her teeth bitterly. There was no such thing as Freedom, not really.

The poor, poor child.

The poor, Loved child.

/ / /

Alexiel left because it made the most sense.

She'd never stayed in any place for very long, be it Gehenna or Assiah, and Dean Winchester would get along without her.

"I'm leaving," she told him, and left no room for argument.

"I wondered when you were gonna go," he replied. There was grease up to his elbows.

Alexiel didn't ask how he knew that she was leaving, but she thought it had something to do with his own angel, up and disappearing into the sky like he thought he was God. The angel that he loved so very desperately that thought he was God.

But Alexiel knew God, and she knew that God did not reside in any angel. God would tire of such a form, just as she had.

And she was so very tired.

"Goodbye," she said.

He said nothing.

She turned, and was gone.

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fin.
notes2: wow. um. wat.
notes3: please do not Favourite without leaving a review.