I'll follow you and make a heaven out of hell,
and I'll die by your hand which I love so well .
2009, Somewhere in middle America
I belong in the service of the Queen
I belong anywhere but in between
She's been crying I've been thinking
Anna Milton should have been a routine exorcism, Cas thought. She was institutionalised. She heard voices. There were hints of things moving even when she was restrained. She was polite, well mannered and then out of nowhere she bit. She was a routine exorcism, or at least she should have been.
He knew as soon as he looked at her that she was not.
To a doctor or a hunter she would have just had something not quite right in the set of her head. She had a sort of serenity that was completely unnatural for a possession, but she was possessed. It was clear in the way she talked, with a soft wise fondness, or the way she cocked her head to listen to someone who wasn't there. It was there in the way she folded her hands in the skirt of her ugly floral dress and the way that her oversized red cardigan hung from her shoulders.
Anna Milton wasn't possessed by a demon, no mere demi-vile or arch vile had taken control of the child's body, instead an angel tested the extent of her flesh and listened with mortal ears to the choir as it sang.
When he entered, the door locked behind him with a final clunk, she smiled. "Merovingian Castiel," she said and her voice was soft as feathers hung in the air. "I bear the most glorious news." Her smile was like that of a marble saint, and her skin as pale. Her dress was too big and continued the illusion. Even her features looked like those of the Eastern European statues he had seen, with their wire and star haloes.
He wanted to knee before her because there was no mistaking what she was possessed by. He had not thought such things possible. "I carry a message that rings the entirety of the heavens and firmament with it's importance. You have come, at long last, to hear my message." She held out her hand that he might take it, like a queen looking at a supplicant. "I no longer wish to wear this flesh, only taking it that I might attract your attention and my time here grows short. Come, Merovingian Castiel, and hear my message."
"I'm listening." He said but did not bow to take her hand.
"Then war is come at last unto it's final days. The first seal which restrained us has broken, the Morrigan has cast innocent blood in Hell and in doing so allowed us to storm the bastion which held him. This is the message I have damned this child to tell you. The Morrigan is risen. Dean Winchester has been raised out of Hell."
Cas didn't know what seals she spoke of which such zeal. But still her words landed in his gut like a fist. Dean was dead, that was what had powered him through these past six months, coming into to his power as Bela, tucked away in New York state, swelled with the inevitability of new life. He returned, time and again to her, wallowing in the Shalimar smell of her as the next Merovingian grew with in her and Bela had changed. With her life sentence lifted she had started to learn to cook and take pleasure in mundane things she never had time for before.
Money was no object for them, and she had already turned what had been her study into a mint green nursery where fat amorphous cows hung from the ceiling. He did not particularly care for her, but she had held up her end of the bargain and he had more than happily held up his, using her pregnancy as a way to extend the bargain and then meeting with the cross roads demon to completely cancel it, in exchange for an old gun that she had stolen from Dean.
She had softened with pregnancy and he was enjoying learning this new Bela, as opposed to the hard edged noir femme fatale who had knocked on his car window that day.
But if Dean lived he would come after both of them.
Nowhere would be safe.
"How is this good news?" he asked.
The angel in the girl tilted her lovely head to the side, like a bird seeing something it didn't understand. "The war is almost over. Our generals are in place and both sides have entered end game. One way or another we shall be free of our eternal enmity." She sounded beatific as she spoke, like a Pre-Raphaelite painting given voice. "A thousand thousand thousand years we have fought and died. Our joy is unending that we might at last know peace. No more shall the blood of our brethren be cast upon the earth. No more shall our wings score the very soil beneath us. No more shall our bodies be stacked upon each other for demons to feast."
There was a fine line, he thought, between religious fervour and insanity. This was the sort of passion that encouraged it's followers to walk unto the field of battle with their arms open and their throats bared.
"No more shall our children be cast as dust upon the land, with their brains dashed out, and their limbs pashed and scattered. No more shall we fall like stars upon the ocean. No more shall our wings be unfurled and our eyes plucked out. No more shall brother turn against brother and our song be one of grief, but instead shall become one of joy. Your brother Morrigan is risen, do you not feel our joy, Merovingian Castiel."
"My brother Morrigan destroyed that which was valuable to me." He said and his voice was thick like aspic. "His heart is full of hate and would destroy all that remains to me."
"Love calls out to love." she said as if it explained anything at all.
"He would find those children I have created to continue my line, that the demons may be driven back for your war, and he would dash them to the floor. He would strangle them for that is what it means to be Morrigan."
She smiled then, and it was one of those smiles that suggested that he was a dear thing but utterly wrong. "Love," she said in that mockingly fond tone of hers, "calls out to love. We are love and you were created in love, the Merovingian is born in love, and the Morrigan is forged in love. Just as only love will cause the Merovingian bloom to seed then only love can burn hot enough to create a Morrigan. Dean Winchester is risen, and he is held in high love by he whom once you saw and opened your heart unto, and he was chosen for he looked upon you and knew your love.
"Without love the Morrigan is powerless as a babe. Without love there can be no Morrigan. Loves calls out to love," she was smiling, that beatific half smile of complete joy that no mere mortal could understand. "If he has acted against you it is out of jealousy that the Merovingian loves so easily, for what is born cannot stand against the fires in which he was created. That is why we rejoice, love calls out to love, Merovingian Castiel, and love will triumph over that which the demons call home."
"I don't understand." He protested.
And the angel in Anna Milton shook her lovely head. "No, child," she corrected, "you do understand. Love calls to love, and that which has been put in place cannot be sundered or undone."
"You've picked a sociopath for your champion."
Her smile slipped then into a fond sadness. "You think so little of yourself. You are best beloved, and know that. Know that every mote of your being is one of love, where love was seared upon him. Love calls out to love, and there is no hate like that of love turned. I have lingered over long in this child, you do not need to understand only to know. Dean Winchester is risen and you must find him. What is coming will end the war, and for that we are eternally grateful, but wars can be won or lost in the final throes. You must choose, Merovingian, whether you love or hate, either way the war will be over and there will be peace, even if it is that of the grave."
The light from the window stuttered, it was really the only way to describe it, like a light-bulb turning off and on again very quickly, and then Anna slumped into her chair, and as he went to touch her, to make sure she was alive, she snuffled and snored. He closed his eyes and forced the emotions down, forced them down as far as he could, swallowing them with the bile and hate and a hundred other things he had no name for. Then he knocked on the door to suggest that he was finished.
"It's done." He told the doctor, "I don't know what state she'll be in when she wakes up, but she's not possessed any more." The doctor nodded, and made the usual noises, the we can't thank you enoughs. "And my fee," Cas said then turning, "transfer it here, to this children's home." the doctor looked at him askance. "I don't need the money," he said, "and you wouldn't trust me if I didn't charge." With that he pushed past him, down to the double doors and the main corridor that led out to his hire car.
He had to tell Bela. He had to warn her. He might not like her much, but there were more important things than like in the world.
She wound understand, unlike poor innocent Amelia. He would not get to see his child, this new creature that pushed at the borders of Bela and fluttered under his hand when he placed it on the curve and swell of her belly. He had to push her away, he had to, the alternative was too terrible to bear. Clare, Moonliel, had been hidden by the Order, this new child, the one they decided to call Danyel, would be taken by Bela. The Merovingian talent was more important than one man. Born in love, the angel had said, but that didn't make it any easier to push them away.
I put millions of miles
Under my heels
And still to close to you
It was a dream, he knew that, because the Morrigan's power was heavily rooted in dreams and illusions and the world carried the phantom scent of roses. He knew it for a dream but he still couldn't quite wake himself up.
He dreamt of the lake beside the Madison campus, the one where he had first kissed Dean, all those years ago, on that day that they had played hooky, when Jo had borrowed his car. Dean sat on a small jetty, his legs hanging in the water with his jeans rolled up, looking exactly as he had all those years before. "Hey, Cas," he said putting down his fishing rod, "are you going to sit with me?"
It was a dream, a cruel nightmare, nothing more. "Sure," Cas said, and pulled off his shoes to reveal the sock that was almost worn thin at the toe, before he sat down beside him.
"Don't you wish that the weather was always like this?" Dean said casting his head back to look at the empty blue expanse above them. "That nothing had to change."
"I suppose so." Dean leaned over and rested his head against Cas' shoulder and Cas didn't know why he didn't jerk him away even if he knew it was a dream. He didn't even wake up with Dean's fingers found him and took his hand in his own, staring out over the lake where Dean had first kissed him and they had found Jo's body and...
It was just a dream, Cas reminded himself, a terrible, beautiful dream.
If you want me to, boy
I could lie to you
You don't need one of these
To get me inside of you
The convent in Ilchester had been abandoned for as long as Cas had been alive, but it still had that sort of calm that he associated with the Order. It had dark grey walls and statuary set into niches in the corridors. After all these years, he thought, it would end here. He was almost nervous.
He could almost taste it, like ashes and cigarette smoke on his tongue.
So for now, I'll just let you go.
He rubbed his palms on his white wool coat. It had been a gift from Bela. His brands glowed hot.
Dean was here.
So for now, I'll just let you go
It was such a small building to have so much happen here.
"Hello, Cas," Dean said, leaning against a statue of an angel who held aloft a great spear. "I'm afraid I can't let you go on any further." He had changed, of course he had, it had been nearly ten years, and he had grown into his face. His jawline had filled out, but his eyes, which had always been like jade before now looked like nephrite, dark and flecked with something new. If he didn't know he would never have guessed that one of them was glass. "You look well, time has been kind."
Once Cas had been fascinated by that mouth, by those lips, and the ginkgo pattern of freckles across his nose. It was completely different now. It was clearly the same man but he had left a boy and found in his place a man.
And Damn him, Cas thought, as his hands reached out against his will to touch, to find those new places upon this man he had loved. William Congreve had once famously said, "Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turn'd," and it was true. Cas was capable of hating him so very much only because he had loved him.
How was it possible, he thought, that this warrior, and there was no other word to describe him, had been the boy who had draped himself along him and infinitely pronounced his love. "Is it too late, love, to run off to Canada?" he asked with that brilliant mega watt grin, the one that shattered him even as it looked like the sprawl of stars across the sky.
"I think so, yes," Cas answered.
Dean's grin never reached his eyes, the gaze of which was like knives. There was a weight upon his shoulders that had not been there before. It was amazing how it still hurt to see him like that.
"Pity." Dean said. "Are you ready to do this?" the illusion rolled out from him like a carpet, the hard stone floors of the convent becoming grass amongst the roses.
"As I'll ever be." Cas replied, surprised that they could even have this conversation. "I owe you, for Karen, for Jo."Dean tilted his head, like the angel who had possessed Anna Milton, in a show of misunderstanding. Then he raised his hand and the wind came, with it and the scent of roses, thick and heady and Cas wanted to buckle under it, but the petals were like blood spatters. "How many have you killed?" he asked.
"I lost count a long time ago." Dean answered and flicked his fingers. A line of wind cut at Cas' clothes. It seemed a bit half hearted, testing him more than attacking outright.
Cas flattened his hand and the wind parted about him. "Don't you find that sad?"
Dean smiled then, a false thing, a mockery of his usual grin. Hunting things."
"Just combatants in the war?" Cas pressed.
"The war doesn't bother me much. Nothing really ever did." There was a poignant sadness there. "I kill things that kill people, let God sort them out when I'm done. I don't care about the war. We weren't even soldiers in it, you know, just weapons."
Cas brought the wind up to attack with a flight of birds that turned to ash in front of Dean as he raised his symbol, the two concentric circles with the three triangles inside to form a shield. "I might have been your ally once."
Dean laughed then. "No, love, never that."
Cas bristled at the word love and lunged, his hand outstretched with his power behind it.
Dean didn't defend and it was with horror that Cas realised he had managed to punch his hand through Dean's chest, just below his diaphragm. Dean coughed, "I was right," he said and raised his hand weakly, the fight long gone from him, "I needed to make a show of it."
"You killed them." Cas protested even as he leant into Dean's cupped hand, noting the blood that stained his teeth and ran from the corner of his mouth.
"Did I?" he asked. "There's one last secret I have to give you," he said, "one last thing I wish could be a gift between us. Only one person can kill the Morrigan, it's how the power is passed on." He coughed again, the blood pooling in his mouth as he slowly breathed out his last, "only the person we love completely." He stopped. "I know no other," his voice was weakening as he struggled to rest his hand against Cas' face. "So much," he said. "So," he closed his eyes slowly as the hardness faded from them, as the darkness replaced the cruelty. "Love," he said, "calls out to love."
It was the term that the angel had used.
And with that Dean died and the visions came, the Morrigan gift bequeathed to his best beloved. He saw Jo against the shores of the lake. "I fucked up," she said, "I wanted you two to get together, and you," she stopped flicking blonde hair out of her face and he saw through Dean's eyes, found the words forming in Dean's mouth. "You're a bastard." she cut him off.
"You're out of your league, little girl." He told her, "go home."
"Oh no, I may not be an almighty sorcerer but I can do this." She lifted his hand and held it, cupping it, putting a knife into his palm. "Kill me, or I'll tell the Order your secret, I'll have you hunted like a dog." Her eyes were calm as she pulled his hand to her throat. "Kill me, you son of a bitch, do to me what you wanted to do to Cas."
"Go home, little girl." Dean told her, pushing her back and went to walk away.
There was a grunt and when Dean turned back she was bleeding, blood pouring from her stomach, just below her diaphragm. "I cast on you a geas," she said through the pain even as she twisted the knife in her guts, he lunged forward to take it away from her, to staunch the wound, to stop her - "if you try to kill Cas the magic will turn back on you."
His hands were either side of the wound. "You silly girl," he started, "I was never going to kill him. I just wanted," her eyes were darkening, still proud even in death, "I just wanted him to run away." He knew then he was talking to a corpse as the tears blinded him, "you little idiot, what have you done?" He wiped at his face, smearing her blood across his cheeks. "I just wanted him to go, if he stayed I would have had to, Sam can't have this power, and I didn't want to do this to him," he started to sob. "You stupid, stupid girl."
It was different then- suddenly.
A woman with blonde hair and strong beautiful features in white jeans and sweater stood over black red roses, holding them to her face to breathe in the scent when the boy approached her.
She smiled so brightly when she saw him that Cas knew he had been wrong all those years before, Dean had inherited his mother's smile, not his father's, "You're home early," she said, "school doesn't normally let out before noon."
He shrugged, "one of the students jumped off the roof," he said in a blank tone.
Her smile became for a moment brittle and bitter sweet, "so soon, my little love, I would have given you more time, here," she said then, "amongst the roses."
"It's all right, Mom," Dean answered, "I don't feel anything, not really."
"I was exactly the same, you know," she dropped the rose and kissed his forehead, "and I promised myself I would never let myself love anyone because it was so dangerous, and then I met you." She pressed her forehead against his, as the blood started to dribble from her lips, "I only regret that I had two sons," she said as he laid her down on the grass, the knife handle a stark dark brown against her white sweater, "because I could only love one of you."
"It's alright, Mom, I won't let him become involved in this." Dean said, "I won't let him know, ever."
Cas came out of the roiling visions to a low clapping as Sam Winchester looked at him, and he had a sort of easy fluidity that he had lacked before. He, like his brother, had bulked out, and was now almost as wide as he was tall, like one of those wrestlers on TV. He seemed to shine brighter than the sun. This was the endgame the angels had told him of. This thing that possessed Sam Winchester and did so in beauty and love. This was why Dean had allowed him to kill him, because Dean couldn't bear to see this – this ugly necessity. "Tell me, Merovingian," he said, and his smile was like a knife edge "do you think this will help you?" This thing inside Sam cupped his face as Dean once had, "after all, love calls out to love."
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.