Title: More Flies With Honey
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers through SPN S7 and the end of Avengers
Word Count: 2,280
Summary: Castiel finds himself in a Manhattan under alien attack.
Dedication: Ann, for telling me to just get this out of my system.
A/N: This is stupid but I couldn't stop thinking about it for forever, okay. Plus I haven't written in a long ass time. (It shows?)
Disclaimer: No harm or infringement intended.
Castiel was mid-harvest when a sudden buzzing noise that has nothing to do with the bees around him grabbed his attention, calling to him like a beacon from thousands of miles away.
He apologized to the bees and set their hive back to rights before disappearing, his fingers still sticky with thick, yellow-white honey.
The bees were sad to see him go. He'd been such an interesting conversationalist.
Castiel reappeared on the island of Manhattan a breath later, as fiery explosions rained from the sky and strange creatures with bony exoskeletons roared threateningly at fleeing civilians. Castiel paused to look directly up into the hole in the sky and knew immediately that it was what called him here with its angry buzzing. Why it was so keen on getting his attention he wasn't sure. It was all such a strange sight.
He did not think it was the work of the Leviathan. Its purpose was not to create a food source so much as kill indiscriminately as a means of subjugation. Castiel did not think Dick Roman would appreciate Earth going to an alien force after all the work he had put in trying to harvest it.
Still curious, Castiel walked past a bank on 42nd Street just as a tall man in red, white, and blue was thrown through the bank window, crash landing on the top of an abandoned car. The resulting impact was full of crunching metal and shattering glass. Ribs cracked as well, and the smell of blood and singed human hair filled Castiel's nostrils. The man groaned and was still, and in that moment between one and the other, Castiel closed his eyes and saw a complete history of blood and gunfire etched into the man's soul, one long enough to rival's Dean's in righteousness and sacrifice.
Castiel was a pacifist now and did not wish to take sides. That did not mean he couldn't help ease pain, though. And so he walked past one of the roaring creatures as it pointed a strange staff weapon at him, making a straight line path through the chaos towards the man in the strangely colored outfit.
The creature, a Chitauri, Lucifer's image supplied, when he was finally able to make complete linguistic sense of their chattering and the way the creatures' words swam through the air like live electrical currents via a largely invisible network of wires and connections all coming from the glowing doorway in the sky.
He disappeared in a rush of air as the Chitauri soldier fired, the staff blast taking out an abandoned yellow taxi cab behind him instead. At the sight of his abrupt disappearance, the Chitauri soldier made a series of concerned, somewhat boggled clicks and growls at the air where Castiel had been. Castiel reappeared in front of the crushed car and the man groaning in pain on top of it, still struggling to get up despite the bone weariness Castiel felt on him, the blood and sweat and age.
Castiel perched on the front of the car's hood and drew out the small bag of honey he managed to collect before he was called here. "You need sustenance. Your energy is waning," he said, and the man, Steve, the universe told him, blinked up at him in confusion. Then alarm.
"Sir, you need to get out of here," Steve said, and in his concern for this complete stranger, managed to overcome his myriad injuries to sit up again. He put a guiding hand on Castiel's arm and looked reassuring.
Castiel dangled the honey at him. "But I was called here," he said plainly, then tsked sadly as he saw a bus go rolling into the street, hitting an army tank and crushing a national guardsman in between the two. Castiel thought perhaps he would go fix that man's spine once he had given Steve his honey. The bees would not mind. Castiel was certain they would like Steve.
Steve shook his head as if to clear it. Castiel gently removed the hand on his arm and placed his own on the side of Steve's head, rewinding through time in his mind to see the moment the grenade had hit him, bursting his eardrum, splitting the skin along his side. Three ribs were cracked as he'd hit the car, and shards of glass were now embedded up and down his arms and shoulders.
Castiel drew his grace along the seams of Steve and sewed him up from the inside out.
Steve jumped to his feet at the sudden sensation of warmth, eyes wide with alarm. "What did you do?" he demanded, then shook his head. "Never mind. Sir, you have to go this way. Out of the line of fire."
Castiel was touched by his concern.
And then a pigeon screamed two blocks away as a giant green thing threatened its nest. Castiel disappeared without another word.
Castiel deposited the pigeon's nest in a quiet enclave in St. Luis before returning to New York. It looked no better than when he left. He stopped and tried to speak to the Chitauri in their language but was unable to penetrate whatever neural network they communicated through. One of them stabbed him multiple times during his attempt at conversing with it and it was very unpleasant.
That was when an Asguardian of impressive width and size shot through the air, pummeling through the Chitauri stabbing Castiel with immense force and a very large hammer. Castiel surmised this must be Thor.
"Hail Odinson," Castiel greeted, politely.
Thor grabbed him by the shoulders. "Are you hurt?" He roared in a suitably commanding voice for an Asguardian. He looked very troubled and then confused, and then troubled again, when Castiel very obviously was not as injured as all the stabbing might have indicated. The flesh wounds had healed already, but the bloody stab marks remained on his jacket.
Castiel furrowed his brow in worry at the sight of the marks and hastily reached into his pocket.
"You need to get out of here," Thor said, and though it sounded very much like an order, his expression was surprisingly gentle. Castiel sensed that he had been stabbed recently too. The wound had not closed yet. A false god that felt human sympathy and bled human blood. How interesting.
Castiel continued to dig absently in his pockets and sighed in relief when he withdrew a fully intact bag of honey.
Thor lost his patience at this point and made to grab Castiel and forcibly pull him to safety before he wasted any more time.
The face he made when he could move Castiel any more easily than anyone else might attempt to move his hammer was comedic enough that Castiel broke into a helpless grin when he saw it. If an Asguardian prince thought that was an impressive trick, Castiel had learned so many more in the last few months that he could also show the Son of Odin.
Abruptly, he put the honey back into his pocket and offered a hand to Thor. He said, also in a suitably commanding voice, "Pull my finger."
Thor, still baffled at his inability to move this man, did as he was told on instinct.
The resulting blast may have accidentally bowled over three encroaching Chitauri. Castiel made sure to apologize to them before he left.
"What the hell is that?" Tony demanded, when a man in what looked to be scrubs and a trench coat appeared at the top of Stark Tower. The man proceeded to sit down right in the middle of the balcony and took a deep breath, watching with concerned interest as battalion after battalion of Chitauri monsters rained down from the sky.
"My records indicate he did not take the elevator up, sir," Jarvis reported.
Tony made a mental note to really talk to Pepper in detail about all these security breaches.
"Dammit," Fury growled when Tony's feed showed a very familiar trenchcoat waving in the wind on one of his screens. From beside him, Hill took a deep breath.
"Sir," she said, voice shaky, "Is that…"
"Yeah," Fury muttered, and didn't need this right now, of all times. Images of that man's face on security cameras from around the world as he killed (admittedly) evil politicians, cured the sick and the blind, took down chapters of the KKK with extreme prejudice, and perpetrated a slew of other bloody incidents came rushing back to the SHIELD director's memory in a tidal wave made up of weeks and weeks of frustration. For all SHIELD was good at being big and scary and all knowing, the man—or self-proclaimed god—currently on Nick Fury's screen had eluded all agency attempts at tracking, monitoring and confinement. Even Barton hadn't been able to find him after November. They'd thought he'd fallen off the face of the earth seven months ago, disappearing as suddenly as he'd come.
Which would have been a godsend if it had lasted, because all SHIELD had managed to dig up on the guy during the entire time he was causing havoc across the country was a missing persons report for a poor schmuck named Jimmy Novak. Communication with Novak's wife and daughter about his whereabouts had been fruitless. As far as either of them was concerned, he was dead. The girl, Claire, had muttered something about an angel in the body of her daddy, but her mom had shut her up on that notion very quickly.
And now, in the midst of what might be the end of the world, it looked like Jimmy Novak had returned.
Whether or not he was here to help fight the Chitauri or gleefully waiting for the end of the world was up in the air.
Castiel was not impressed by the destructive green abomination, the false god, the metal man, or the man with the unnaturally enhanced blood that reminded him of the demon taint in Sam's veins. They did not scare him or awe him or even amuse him very much, though Thor made some interesting faces and the metal man's brain spun at a very quick pace.
Rather, the ones that made Castiel instantly wary were the tiny humans he saw fighting on the ground with nothing other than their own hands and the primitive weapons they wielded so well between them.
Natasha Romanov and Clint Barton were more terrifying to the angel Castiel than even the demi-god they fought alongside, and it wasn't because of the memories the angel caught glimpses of, the bloodbaths in Sao Paulo and Budapest, the dire situation in Bucharest, the moral quandary in Uzbekistan.
Castiel thought it was rather because historically, those he had once callously classified as just men were always the ones who had the most power to shape the universe around them by their will alone.
To prove him right, in the end, it was a mere human who closed the door to their world from the Chitauri and those who would come after them. She did not bat an eye, and no one thanked her for it in the end.
As the portal closed, the buzzing dulled but did not fade from Castiel's ears completely. He sat and breathed, and listened.
And then he heard a crack, a shift, a whimper. A soul cried out in anger, and the buzz of it was even louder than the portal's. Perhaps this was the point of everything then, the reason why his senses had been overwhelmed with a need to be here.
Castiel thought that perhaps he was here to pass on his wisdom to someone else. Lucifer seemed to disagree, in any case, and Castiel supposed that was the best sign he could hope for towards the affirmative. So Castiel got up and walked from the balcony back inside.
He crouched beside Loki's bruised, broken body and reached into his pocket for the bag of honey one last time.
"Who are you?" Thor's brother growled painfully, unable to quite move yet.
Castiel offered him the honey. "An angel," he answered, in all seriousness.
Loki glared. "And I am a god, you puny, broken thing."
Castiel nodded in agreement, and dangled the honey in front of Loki's nose as a peace offering. "I have found that those who must demand worship are the ones most ill-suited to it." He smiled down beatifically at the surprisingly small Asguardian. "You and I both make poor gods, Loki."
Loki's eye twitched.
Castiel sighed and physically put the bag into Loki's hand. He could always go and harvest more later, after all. Then he reached out instead and healed the worst of the breaks and the pain from Loki's body. The green monster had made it very difficult for Loki to move, after all.
Then Castiel stood abruptly and tilted his head to the side, as if listening to distant voices.
Loki sighed but did not get up from the cement crack that he had been pounded into right away. "What now?" he drawled.
Castiel took a deep breath and held his hands up as if trying to embrace the world. "Men are terrifying, wonderful creatures, aren't they?" he asked, for no apparent reason. "Anything is possible where they're concerned. Even if they tend to be unreasonably cruel to monkeys."
Loki looked disgusted. "Please just let them imprison me again."
Castiel nodded. "I suppose that would be best. I would be happy if you enjoyed the honey. It came from exceptionally friendly bees."
And then the angel disappeared.
Loki tossed the bag of honey away in disgust and decided to close his eyes. He counted backwards from ten before he tried to move again.