Author's Note: Alternate ending part deux, in 3... 2... 1...


Ending Two


In the end, he keeps going back to Hannah.

The odd visits here and there turn to monthly, which eventually become weekly. Then, somewhere in the chaos of his return and period of mourning, he becomes the new Bobby and stays with her.

There is always a nagging at the back of his mind that he doesn't quite understand. A remnant, perhaps, of his grace trying to tell him something. But, like so many things he doesn't understand, he files it away so he doesn't have to think about it. Perhaps he should have paid it more attention.

It happens right in the middle of escalated emotions and the usual loss of inhibition. On a day no different than any other, really. Her fingers have forced his shirt open already, his hands gripped tight against her hips, mouth leaving blistering kisses along her collarbone.

Hannah throws her head back, hair falling across her shoulders in a cascade of golden curls. "Castiel…"

She calls him by his true name, and he knows.

Castiel tears himself away, like someone has just poured ice water down his spine, and the breath rushes out of him in a painful burst of confusion. There is a horrible, blinding pit growing in the bottom of his stomach, a forgotten pain so deep cresting inside of him that he's left seeing stars. Impossible, is all that goes through his head, over and over. And when he puts as much distance between the two of them as he can without slamming into the opposite wall, the sudden sense of desperation he feels is like a living thing.

Hannah lowers her eyes from the ceiling, leveling them at him, eyebrow arching—clearly put out for being left unattended.

Castiel shakes his head. "What…"

Every pretense falls from her eyes, from her posture, from the air which is now so suddenly thick. Her outward expression doesn't otherwise change, and she even instills a glimmer of confusion for his benefit, but he knows—he knows.

He's so mad he could kill her. In fact, he even grips the demon knife tight in his hand from the top drawer before it finally slips from numb fingers. Instead, he breaks down, every wall crumbling. He's back in front of her in two strides. He kisses her and holds her and he simply can't touch her enough.

"You… you…" The words lodge in his throat, tangling with the overwhelming emotion already nestled there. His heart twists viciously, his breathing rapid and ragged.

"Cat got your tongue?" Meg simpers, nipping his lip.

A game. This was all a game to her.

He pulls her against him tight, punishing, pouring out his anger and undeniable relief with bruising hands and a slam into the wall. "I hate you."

She is laughing triumphantly against him, delighting in his heated retaliations and the searing power of dying grace flaring up again. How this once mighty creature is unraveling in her arms. "Now you're learning."

Her image—Hannah's image—had been a mirage. She's learned new tricks. But it isn't quite a lie—the form she'd assumed (used on him) had indeed been hers, from when she'd been human and had a body of her own.

He likes her better like this—this mess of thorns he has no hope of taming.

"Stay," he whispers, begging, hands disappearing into the waves of long hair as they transition back to dark chocolate without the guise. She loses an inch or two of height, slender face becoming the apple shape he remembers. Pink lips pull into a dark red smile, seawater eyes fading to muddy brown and then black. "Stay, stay, stay…"

"You have me," Meg promises, and it isn't a lie. There is an almost poignant fracture to the cadence of her voice when she says this. It is the voice he remembers, the smoky drawl instead of the sweet as honey sound of the innocent girl she'd been masquerading as.

Her words, broken as he feels, finally free him from the bonds holding him tight as nothing else could.

He has her.


Author's Note: Reviews... we've talked about this... personal joy to author?