Author's Note: So this was done as a challenge for Megstiel week on tumblr (I have a few other things I'm doing as well - some of which will be art and other special projects. My username there is elocin-muse). Well, that's sort of a lie. This song came on my shuffle and I started dreaming up scenes and blips and snippets of pre-series Megstiel meeting. And then I tacked it on to my Megstiel week projects. So there.
I always thought that during Cas and Meg's first canon meeting on the show - it felt like there was MORE. Not just the obvious UST or the basic angel versus demon rivalry. But I was picking up on subtext (that of course wasn't actually there) and reading between the lines. It felt like there was a familiarity between them. I mean, this is one of the first times Cas is ever deliberately SNARKY.
I don't know. Anyways, I'm rambling.
Wrote this in a way that weaved it into a companion piece for Always Find Me Here. After a first few drafts, I piled on even more AFMH bits. When I first started out, AFMH was just alluded to here and there. But now... now look at what I've done.
I promised my tumblr followers that this wouldn't make you cry though. So, if you do, leave me a flame or two and I'll accept them graciously like the responsible adult I am.
Song prompt for this one is Sarabande Suite (Aeternae) by Globus.
Bold/Italic - Lyrics
Italic - Flashforwards to AFMH
Es tu libre? (Are you free?)
Vraiment libre? (Are you really free?)
As bien de Aeternae (As well eternity)
Est-il phantome? (Is it a ghost?)
Qui habite (Who is living)
Approcher de Aeternae (Approaching eternal life)
Bien se calmer (Just be calm)
Purgatory was sorrow and constant war, every moment spent fighting to the death or running for your life. It was personal demons and dark deeds brought to light. It was every vile soul demanding their suffering and making them pay. Too often did he consider abandoning what little fortitude he had left, falling into the inky blackness of Purgatory's ill-omened woods. He wanted to give in, wanted to let whatever monsters beyond the ridge line just have him and be done. The longer they were trapped, the more desolate he became. Courage was the first to die, faith the second.
In the end, it had been her.
She broke out of Hell. She saved him, but at a terrible cost.
He wakes to butterfly kisses on his eyelids and teeth marks on his ear, to hands tracing his jawline and fingernails dragging across his chest. He wakes to skin pressed against his and a weight trapping his body. He wakes, and she is waking with him.
Even while he feels like a shadow trapped between shafts of light, splintered as a mast in a storm, there is a part of him that settles.
Something has broken between them, a barrier made of glass—never seen until the shards are piercing his skin. She's dug her way under his flesh and isn't going away.
Kneel in silence, alone
My spirit bares me
Pray for guidance, towards home
In darkest hours
Heaven lay in siege. At war.
Angel fighting angel, brother fighting brother. Never before had such devastation existed in the holy realm of thrones. The universe shuddered at the wreckage, at the havoc wrought across galaxies. The sun vanished behind cloudbanks, behind the storm and the fire and the quaking of the earth.
Creatures so twisted and foul breached Heaven's gates, and a battle that shook the skies waged fierce. In the distance, on the highest mountain, fought Lucifer and his brother Michael. The hearts of the angels were broken, stunned, but it was the will of Heaven that they fight their rebel brothers and sisters, and all that stood with them.
It was more than purely the Fallen whom declared anarchy alongside the Morning Star, because Lucifer had created something so terrible, so truly vile, and it was a weapon that no member of the Host had expected. Lucifer had corrupted humans, nephilims, into something unrecognizable. Something horrifying.
Demons invaded Heaven's reach, casting shadows where once only light had dwelled.
Garrisons fought garrisons, killed and struck down their own. Fledglings were torn out of training and thrust into battle. Across the violent skies and tempestuous rain, individual constellations of grace fell rapidly, cut down in deafening blast waves that shot across the valleys and blinded the earth below. Black souls were snuffed out in bursts of hellfire and the choking stench of sulfur.
The skies above and gorges below became a graveyard to the dead.
Kneel down in silence
Empires of faith unravel
Alone, kingdoms falling
Whose hand commands this thunder
Cry as we're torn asunder
Protect us in our final hour
One of Heaven's youngest, so new to battle and it so foreign to him, is left to fend among the many raiders. His garrison is the most respected and also the strongest, but his first breath was drawn not so long ago. He makes no complaint, fighting through an exceptionally nasty horde with courage and resolution in his heart. The holy steel of his sword slices through flesh and bone, claiming both tainted grace and polluted souls alike.
Father? he calls out in his thoughts, hoping to hear a reply that never comes.
When the deaths under his belt have reached an alarming level, he spreads his wings and leaps into the air, pounding at the sky to reach his garrison.
His name is Castiel. His purpose of creation was to be a messenger, a guide, and he is not even a decade old. A fledgling, and he is amid slaughter and mayhem he was never meant to see.
Just as he reaches the pinnacle of his ascent, something tears him out of the sky, slamming into him and sending him veering off course. Castiel banks hard, onyx feathers ripping loose. He tucks a shoulder as the jagged earth comes rushing at him and he feels the impact jar every one of his opalescent bones. Something internal tears and snaps—he heals it with barely a thought, feeling the sinews of muscle mend themselves as he rises.
Fall away, my soul wandered
Borne by grace
I flew on high, sheltered from this thunder
The shock of black hair contrasts eyes bluer than Heaven's mightiest sea, leveled like arrows against the creature responsible for his fall. A demon, female. She is a disaster of lithe limbs and fluid motion—deceitful, even through movement. Her form beckons yet repels all at once. He can see the mark of her soul, unrecognizable to most. But he discerns the pattern of thorns of what lies dormant beneath.
He has heard of this one.
"Daughter of Azazel."
A splinter of white cuts through the hailing winds and pouring rain like the bite of a diamond, rows of sharp teeth revealed in a smile. It is a challenge to the gravelly threat of his voice.
"I have many names, servant of Heaven," says the demon. "Oh, and yes—I was born, but you… you shall serve until there is nothing left of the earth but ash. Who among us, therefore, is the tragedy, little fledgling?"
Something stirs inside him. Something foreign and inexplicably wrong. Wrong, because he fears he may enjoy the rush of it, washing over his skin.
He shakes the thought away, lifting his sword. "You will regret ever coming here, dark thing."
Take me away from time and season
Far, far away we'll sing with reason
Prepare a throne of stars above me
As the world once known will leave me
Take me away upon a plateau
Far, far away from fears and shadow
Strengthen my heart in times of sorrow
Light the way to bright tomorrows
Castiel is armor and light, righteousness and justice and conviction so bright it nearly blinds her. The demon is leather and thorns and eyes as bottomless and black as he's ever seen, slick like an oil stain.
They fight, and she is a cloud of smoke, constantly in motion, charred skin and long layers of undulating hair whipping around them as they move, darker than the color of earth after a storm. Castiel travels like mist through the raindrops, quick like an eddy of light. Every attack is punctuated by the roar of thunder. There is a calm about him, even as he fights. But there is also determination, steadfast resolve. He will die if it means defending Heaven.
His brothers. His Father.
These are aspects of the angel that equally disgust and impress her. Her impression of him is constantly changing, even as their conflict shifts. It is a constant deluge of brutal blows, light and smoke being rent away with each strike. Weapons of steel and of true form collide. The firelight illuminates their otherwise graying faces amid the rush of hail, earth and rock and saltwater sent spraying. Bodies are hurled against cliff faces and lava pools where Heaven and Hell have merged. Light dies and flares up again, resolute but struggling against a losing fight. The angel's massive wings arc and cut through the air, a source of balance and advantage. They slice through her smoke, the plumes becoming dirtied and ashen.
She would like to dirty him some more.
Even sworn as her true and only enemy in this moment, he is a creature of incredible beauty. Terrifying and magnificent. Her smoke leeching off him only intensifies that splendor, in her eyes. She distracts him with diversion tactics, casting the throes of nightmares at him. He fends them off easily enough, but the effort slows him.
Seizing an opening, the demon strikes. She leaps onto the larger creature's back, sharp claws digging through the chainmail adorning his throat. Her dark flesh singes and smokes when it comes against the grace infused there, but still she carves, nails biting into the glistening translucent flesh she finds there.
Twisting away, throwing the demon from his back, he hurls sigils at her, tongue forming foreign words faster than she can counter them. The Enochian slams into her, grinding her desiccated bones and setting her flesh afire. She screeches a counter cry, teeth flashing again and twin daggers catching the light in either hand. They are adorned with sigils and poisonous magicks of her own. She is the fastest among the dark children, but Castiel, it appears, is faster.
Even as her knives tear into him—never deep enough to cause any real harm—he never relents. Even when she crushes a plate of armor on his wrist with mental fingers and he rears back, he uses the misfortune to his advantage and delivers a lightning strike of grace at her that sends her sprawling.
The fire licks at her skin. She will come to know his fire well.
Answer our call in desperate hours
Shelter our fall from earthly powers
Temper our souls with flame and furnace
Bear us toward a noble purpose
He is a soldier, but a careful strategist too. Everything she hurls at him, psychic or physical, is averted and countered. She is a powerful evil and he is of the youngest ranks of angels and he should be dead already.
But he fights like he was born to.
She'd think him the makings of an archangel if he weren't so obviously not. Were it a millennia from now, the demon knows she would be nothing more than a pile a sulfur at his feet, already forgotten. But they are in the present and this youngling is the strongest of heart she has seen yet. It throws her, and that alone is such a rarity that she is temporarily speechless.
There is ash falling around them like flakes of snow as they face off—and anyone could mistake it for a wintry morning if it weren't for the carnage taking place.
Heaven hides nothing in its measure
Mortal men blinded by false treasure
Formless and vanquished we shall travel
Shield and sword will guide our battle
"What are you?" her sultry voice, made tremulous in her uncertainty, demands of him. She stands as tall as she is able, which is still so much smaller than he. Her chest heaves with exhaustion, tendrils of smoke hanging low and dying around her. "You are no guardian."
She had seen the branding on the wrist of his true form with the armor ripped away. The mark of light scribed into the symbol of the guardians and messengers of old. But he is different, and it confounds her. There is something new and alien about him that has her instantly on guard in a way she never thought she'd need to be.
He looks affronted by her suspicion. "To be a shield is my birthright," Castiel growls back. He's thrown because she has questions and a genuine desire to have them answered.
The demon shakes her head slow, black eyes combing him over. "No, but you are more than that," she says quietly, almost reverently. She is curious now, and will not let it go. "There is an ember of something more inside you, angel. Something else, but it is not of light." That smile again, sharp and venomous and promising a thousand dark things. "I taste destiny on your skin. You are to be something mighty… something so very fierce." She laughs, cackling at the sky with the wind howling around her. "You, oh you, little angel, have a very long ways to fall. Ohhh…" she says, looking at him then, with something almost akin to admiration. "Oh, but I love it when you glow. Yes—go on. Go on and serve, whilst I and mine rain terror on your Home. My father will be the one to ascend when the dawn rises."
There had been an almost poignant pain to her laughter before, where there now was gritty acceptance. The demon is as hollow as the shattered husk she's become, and this is where her loyalties have led her. Something strange happens then. Something too remarkable to name.
"Fight with us."
The demon will never know what possessed her to say this. Won't for many millennia to come.
Castiel feels something roil unpleasantly in the pit of his gut. Her words incite something in him, something indeed fierce, and he is on her within moments. His eyes glow like dual stars and he is the embodiment of wrath as his fingers close in a stranglehold against her throat. Fingers a steel all their own curve upward along her jaw, branding the mark of his hand into her flesh. "I may be a servant, Asenath," he snarls at her, rage making him thrum with power, barely checked. "But you will always be a slave."
Castiel doesn't know how he knows her true name, and thinks he might never know. She has brought out something in him, a passion he cannot wrap his head around. She is a demon, a simple creature of darkness, but he has failed to decipher her. Yet… he thinks that maybe she is different, too. He cannot name it.
Her claws grip into him, and she is pouring fire and hatred and conviction right back at him. "You will mark my words, I know it. But you shall heed them as well. We will meet again, little seraph," she vows around a hiss. Even still… now it is her turn to waver. Despite the anger in her words, something within her pauses. She looks on him with new respect, with something almost like… hope.
She serves because she must. This brave angel, and brave he is, serves because it is in his desire to do so. Such a peculiar thing. She smiles when he glows hotter, his light burning her skin with searing heat. She revels in it, because he could destroy her with a glance. Yet here he is, drawing it out.
For the first time in his existence, Castiel gives in to the dark satisfaction eating at the corners of his vision. He relishes his supremacy and makes it known. His voice, like slate over crushed gravel, tells her, "I look forward to it."
She has a final thought—that perhaps there is more to the cause she has given herself to. Perhaps she is more than just smoke and thorns, because one insignificant little angel saw her when no one else was looking.
And then he is banishing her, shouting the command with such authority that all of Heaven takes notice.
"OL OIAD MALPIRG!"
The demon Asenath is sent back to Perdition with a scream and eruption of smoke. Castiel returns to his brothers to fight at their side, summoning every vestige of grace he has to force out the memory of that one demon who promised him dark mysteries he cannot account for. He pushes the thought of her from his mind, but knows, deep within himself, that they will indeed meet again.
More troubling, he wonders to himself why he did not kill her.
He is left with one small comfort, even as his family tears itself apart before his eyes.
The demon was wrong. At least where it mattered most.
Salvation comes in desperate hours
Angels on high proclaim these powers
Lead us from chaos we shall follow
Bear us to a bright tomorrow
Sometimes, you must fight the ones you love, in order to save them. This is something he will learn from the Righteous Man.
Meg, for all her faults, knows this is the truth.
Her fingers clutch at the folds of his trenchcoat like it's a lifeline. A shudder runs through her. Meg exhales sharply, around a failing gasp. "Cas…"
He lowers them to the ground until he's on his knees and she is spread across his lap, in his arms. "I've got you. It's all right."
Castiel's touch still burns, still taints her, even thousands of years later. Even now, as he fights her across woodland terrain, over hills and through mud, desperate to rip that abomination out of her. Even if it means committing the worst possible act he can think of.
The words are spilling out before he can stop them. "I need you to stay with me."
Even if it means destroying her.
Meg looks at him like she so badly wishes she could make him smile right then. "That's not how it's gonna work out this time, feathers."
Her, the only thing he's ever loved—like a hurricane loves the chaos.
No one can see the mark of his hand on her but them. He'd gripped her tight eons before, and he'd freed her from the darkness.
He listens when she tells him about the last few years. About when she was human. She tells him how her feelings for him have evolved over time, from seething hatred to what it is now. Unbidden, Castiel wipes the tears from her face, cradling her precious weight against himself. His hand grazes her forehead in a gentle caress as she retells the story of how he has changed her. How he gave her back something she never thought she'd have again.
Because even while he'd stumbled, fallen, became corrupted in so many ways and so many times… he would always be a shield to those he loved.
He was a guardian.
His purpose, his reason for creation, was to protect, and always would be.
There is a soft flash of light that illuminates the shadow of the forest, formed by the canopy of treetops above their heads. Castiel's hand slips from her forehead as peaceful death washes over the demon in his arms. With unsteady fingers, he grips her tighter. Castiel squeezes his eyes shut, pressing his face against her hair as the tears roll silently down his cheeks.
No longer forced to serve because of what was in her blood, because of the thing she was. No longer a slave to her sins, to her father, to Hell.
Pieces of his heart shift like fine dust in his chest. The storm that has been raging in his darkening eyes breaks loose and the flood gates open to the torrent of alien emotion pouring out of him as Castiel begins to sob.
All because of her guardian angel.
Even in death, Meg would forever be grateful for that. Grateful to him, for proving her so very wrong.
Earthly prophet, break free
Dreamless, hoping, set wings to fly
Oh, lost seekers
Forget all the values of past eras
Oh, lost dreamers
Find hope in the valley of promise
Asenath, first nephilim of the earth, daughter of Azazel, daughter of a human mother, was born on a Thursday morning, long ago. She was assigned a guardian angel, the bond forged never willing to break, even as she tore into her first soul in the fires of Perdition. Even as she became the monster her guardian was created to defeat.
Castiel, from the moment the girl was born, was foretold to protect her. But most regrettably, he also was destined to destroy her. It was in this destruction that he would free her, thereby granting her the salvation she had been denied. She was never meant for damnation, just as he was never meant for humanity. Even still, in the wake of everything… it was always going to be the both of them who fell.
Hold me, forget
Angel terreste (Earthly angel)
Tiens-moi, regrette (Hold me, sorry)
Olam vaed (For all the world eternal)
Eternal vie (Eternal life)
Olam vaed (For all the world eternal)
Faith is found
Author's Note: Leave your hate or love in the little box and watch me do a cartwheel!