Castiel had almost forgotten how it felt to fly. Really fly. Not the quick flutter from place to place that he'd been doing for so long. That was necessary, brutally quick, completely lacking in the enjoyment and sensation of slowly gliding through the air.

He hadn't realised how much he had missed the real thrill. The soft caress of wind through the strands, the particles of his grace glistening and whispering in the sunlight, soaking up every miniscule touch of Power they could reach. He drifted lazily, feeling the entanglements of mortal sin and the restraints of his vessel slipping away.

And yes, he would have to return soon. Return and be bound in a tiny, confining form that required him to pull himself into awfully uncomfortable contortions. He could never leave the Winchesters alone for very long; they tended to get themselves into trouble every time he stepped out of the room.

His essence sighed in something approaching fond exasperation, the strange curling of emotion so much more profound in this form that had denied them for so long. In the vessel he could ignore it, label it as something forced on him by human flesh. So many feelings and thoughts that had confused him and sent him adrift, brought back only by a pair of green eyes that crinkled in laughter.

That was a strange experience. Warmth and a deep flush of something that was almost longing spread throughout the strands of his being. He wove himself together, weaving in intricate patterns under the sunlight as he explored this strange aspect of himself. So many colours made up everything that he was, but there, around that place of heat and need, were only deep throes of red and green, blending together soothingly.

Castiel instantly recognised the shade of green. It was the red he needed a few moments to figure out.

And oh what a thing to recognise! Something he'd never thought he'd find in himself, something that had coloured deeply into Anna when they'd met, her eyes warning him away from the shade. There'd been fierce protectiveness in every breath of her Grace, stretching itself over that place and holding it tight and secret after his first unexpected glance.

Perhaps there was something better than flying, he realised, as he remembered her words; the soft expression on her face as she spoke to him of someone they'd never meet. Perhaps there really was something that made abandoning Heaven utterly and completely worth it.

Perhaps he'd already known that, he thought, as he sunk thankfully into the tight confines of his vessel.

He opened his eyes to that wonderful shade of green, and forgot the wonders of flying all over again.