One thing that was an essential part of being an angel were the constant voices. They weren't pointed directly at Castiel most times, but it was like listening to hundreds of police radios, as they communicated in formal tones. That's one thing that threw him for a loop when he was stuck in purgatory, was the silence. He felt like a broken radio, only getting dim mumblings on a good day. He strained to listen and understand, but his loneliness from his family increased each day. Now, without even voices of his friends to fill the pressing silence, he felt utterly alone.
That was why he was so surprised when a message finally came along. It was sharp, clear, and brimming with sorrow and loss. The infirmary had been attacked, the ethereal network was in danger of splitting in two for good, the civil war was at the peak of its violence. Then, it was over, and it was just Castiel and his own thoughts again. He still felt tiny aftershocks of sadness and sorrow, and he had to restrain himself from clutching at his chest, where it really hurt.
He imagined what would happen if Dean and Benny were still there with him.
"Hey, you alright?" Dean would have asked him, upon seeing Cas's concerned expression and downcast eyes. Cas would have met his friend's gaze, Dean's eyebrows would have been lilted just enough to show his worry. "Yes, Dean. No cause for concern." What he would have said, and then Benny would have rolled his eyes and nodded forward, he'd say something like "C'mon, no time for a chick flick moment, let's keep moving."
Castiel smiled sadly at the scenario he made up in his mind. It sure had been a rag tag team, but he missed them already. He missed all company. He turned his blue eyes to the sky and furrowed his brows. If his brothers and sisters were up there, he sent them his best regards. There was no telling what would happen now.
When asked, people might say one of the worst emotions is suspense. That raw moment when everything is suspended in time, as one's whole being seems to quiver with anticipation. Well, Darias didn't have that liberty.
Darias normally would pity a human overridden with suspense, as they blindly only heard bumps on the other side of a door, with not an inkling of the intentions. But this time, Darias found his situation to be worse. He knew every little murderous thought that ran through the enemy's head.
"You can't DO this!" His friend Azariel's voice tore through the air, pleading, undertones of fierce emotion plucking at the heart strings in a way only the Enochian language could. He had this body thrown across the gap that made the doorway, trying to defend the nursery with all his being. He and Darias had been working together for only a little while, but the two already had developed a strong friendship. Darias felt his heart catch in his throat when he realized this might be the last he'd see of his friend.
"Watch me." The celestial being retorted unemotionally, speaking at once in an eerie multi-voice from all of his faces. His blade swept into an arch so quickly that Darias only saw a flash, while Azariel's white grace splattered in the arch and there was a boom before he even hit the ground. Charred black wings. "Emotion has made you grow weak," the other angel said, detached, as he swung with the least faltering flick of one of his wrists and sliced the nearest white, floating flame neatly in half.
Darias had always loved the infirmary, and he'd been so happy when he'd finally been assigned to protect it. It was a safe place where baby angels incubated for hundreds of years before they could finally be whisked away and trained. They were born not from two angels but from all angels, as they were little pieces of grace, simply recycled. Like pure white flames, the little motes floated peacefully around the room, emitting a dim light as tiny wisps and tendrils of white curled into the air like smoke. If you were to grab one, they would materialize into actual babies, human-like in every way except for the wings.
That was the trade secret: angel's base form was very much human, and as they matured they developed into unique creatures, growing parts of other animals on themselves like coral. The older they became, the more powerful and embellished their bodies became. These babies begged for attention and affection, as they grew from their supply of grace from other angels who came to visit their up-and-coming brothers and sisters. Thin wisps would curl up from the adult angel's own bodies and into the white mote.
The infirmary was supposed to be a public, inviting place that any angel could drop by. That situation had changed drastically since the war, however. Darias had even held one of the babies in its human form, as it pulled just a misting of grace from his. It looked so happy and cute that Darias smiled.
"You're not supposed to do that." Azariel had commented coldly as Darias couldn't fight back feelings of, well, love. That was back in the days when the war was just beginning.
"Why not?" Darias asked, staring the the little baby's eyes. It was one of the silver-eyed angels. He cuddled the baby closer.
"You'll corrupt it. Everyone knows if you love it it'll give love in return. Put it back."
Darias never really forgot those words. Only later has Azariel decided to join his side. The war was...complicated to say the least. When narrowed down, the main subject seemed to be whether the apocalypse had to be started up again. There were two sides: the side that agreed to start it again to diminish much of the human race, and the side that didn't.
It branched off into so many other issues- the side that disagreed to restart the apocalypse had angels who possessed strong human-like emotions, they actually cared for the humans, this side questioned their duties as warriors. This side stripped off their massive celestial bodies and wore their human forms in protest. Some wore their vessels, others wore their core human form if they'd never visited Earth.
That wasn't the only way to differentiate the sides. The light the pro-humans side's grace emitted was warm, loving, encompassing. The other side was made of light as well, but it was a sharp white, unpleasantly cold and piercing. It was like the difference between candlelight and an LED.
This was why Darias felt so uncomfortable in this Angel's sharp light, as it stared into his own two eyes with its four different animal faces and eight eyes.
It slashed mercilessly at another mote, and innocent silvery-white splattered on the floor and on the wall. Darias fell to the floor as he was overcome with a bought of sickness.
"See?" The angel growled, whacking at the floating white flames unhesitantly as if they were weeds. Darias scuttled back on the floor, wiping his cheek with shaking fingers as he felt wet silver blood. Were those tears as well? Just as he felt utterly hopeless, it was there. One mote, floating right in front of him. Darias grasped it with shaking, gentle arms as the baby materialized. The angel was still making its way toward him, speeding up now that he'd seen what he'd done.
Darias looked down at the innocent, human baby with pure white wings and storm grey eyes. "Find Sam and Dean and Castiel. Castiel is the last one who has seen Gabriel, who could be the only one who has the power to the end the war." The baby blinked up at him with those big, stoney eyes. Darias felt his heart jump to his throat, fearing what came next.
He felt the baby's thoughts echo back to him, even though they were simpler and faded. He probably had the main idea. This all happened in a few seconds time, and the murderous angel had caught up to them. Darias looked up, surprised, as a blade was plunged unfaltering into his stomach as he tried to shield the little cherub. Darias tried with his last thoughts to chant to the baby angel in his arms, who was getting soaked with his blood.
"Sam and Dean and Castiel. Samandeanandiel...Samand...eanandcas...riel.."
"Samandriel," Darias said, smiling grimly. The first and last time I get to name a baby angel. He weakly stroked the baby's head, it blinked back at him, confused. Darias shoved him with the last of his strength into a wormhole that would lead to earth. Then, there was a boom as his body went slack and charred wings marked the ground.
His work done, the angel that was a mass of swirling animal parts and feathers disappeared. The macabre scene of a room that was painted with silvery white splatters and a pair of charred wings remained. There was only one survivor from the violent ordeal, and he was hurtling toward earth now, three names repeating over and over in his tiny little head.
Samandriel was falling fast, and it felt like barely a few seconds before hard soil was at his back and he'd fallen to earth. As if on instinct, something inside him searched like a radar beam for a suitable vessel. His body wouldn't be able to survive for long at all in the form it was in now. Samandriel felt a wave of relief as he found a match and he instantly flew there.
Alfie was down on his luck to say the least. He'd just been fired from his shit job, and he was sitting outside in his uniform now, sitting on a curb that faced the empty parking lot. He was staring dejectedly at the night sky, and he didn't feel too much better even when he saw a bright falling star swatch across the sky.
"Dammit Alfie, I want that uniform back. Tell ya what, I'm going out back for a smoke. When I get back that better be folded and on my damn desk. I ain't rehiring you, you know that." His boss has told him in his heavy new york accent, as he pulled out his box of cigs and stepped out the store's back door.
Alfie let out a big sigh as he'd stumbled outside and sat down on the curb, feeling defeated. His puff of breath swirled white in the chilly air. He'd had a damn bad week. First, his girlfriend broke up with him, with the old it's not you, it's me. He'd gotten his college rejection letter the next day to the college he'd been wanting to go to the most. Now, he was getting fired. Alfie looked dejectedly at his rusting bike, as he couldn't afford a car. He had no idea what he was even going to do with his life, when something amazing happened.
Alfie suddenly felt happy. Like, really, really happy. Like he was happy enough to just float into the sky and burst into a bright light like a firework.
MY NAME IS SAMANDRIEL. IF YOU WOULD ALLOW ME, I'D PREFER TO UTILIZE YOUR BODY FOR MY ETHEREAL NEEDS. I AM AN ANGEL OF THE LORD.
A voice screamed into Alfie's head, reverberating through his whole being. Alfie clutched his head, it was so damn loud. Samandriel felt horrible. Oh, he wished he knew what to do. He needed help from one of his brothers and sisters.
I apologize if I harmed you. Please agree.
Alfie's confusion was instantly picked up on by Samandriel, who like most angels, had the ability to feel the thoughts of others around him.
Say yes if you'd let me in. The baby angel begged, not sure what he was supposed to do. Dammit, if only the angel who had rescued him had given him a little instructions instead of just the three names he'd sort of been named after. Even now, the chant kept repeating in his little head. Sam and Dean and Castiel, Sam and Dean and Castiel...
"Yes," Alfie said softly, doubting anything would really happen. Maybe the stress was just making him crack. Maybe he finally was just going insane. Right away, Samandriel felt himself melt into his new vessel. He let out a sigh of relief as he no longer felt the corrosive atmosphere chipping away at his grace. He felt at home, like he was warm and secure and safe.
Samandriel curled the fingers on his new right hand. The middle finger knuckle had less flexibility, as the joint was restricted by something flesh-colored that wrapped around it. Samandriel gained control of his left hand and plucked at it, and the light brown thing slid off like a ring to reveal a small cut. He furrowed his brows and held up the ring, which had something white and square in the middle. How strange.
It's called a band-aid, you dummy. Samandriel felt a foreign voice bounce in his head as Alfie bubbled up from the depths of his brain. Samandriel felt panic rise. What was he supposed to do in this situation? Did all angels listen to their vessels thoughts? Was he supposed to push it down and suppress it? He felt scared and confused as his invisible white wings fluttered in frustration. He did what his first instinct was to do, and he tried to push the foreign thought down, way down, drowning it in the deepest level of unconscious.
Samandriel felt Alfie's panic rise up and mingle with his, and suddenly he just couldn't do it. He let go, and Alfie's thoughts bobbed up to the surface again. Thanks, the little human thought said softly. Samandriel suddenly felt something in his chest as it swelled. Friendship? Empathy? He had no idea what to call it. Sam and Dean and Castiel, Sam and Dean and Castiel. The chant whispered silently in his head again, reminding him of his mission. Who are they? Alfie piped up. My, this was going to be strange.
To anyone passing by, he looked like a strange boy in an empty parking lot, just simply staring at his hands as he twisted them occassionally, bringing them up to his face and looking at the fingerprints, wiggling the fingers and staring at the joints. But inside, there was a full blown conversation.
Samandriel stared at his newfound hands as he tried to reach out and find the people the names were tied to. So far he found Sam and Dean, the first two on his list. But Castiel's name bore more weight, he was the one he was really trying to look for. He could try to find them, but he didn't really know how to fly yet. He was lost and alone and had a very vague mission...
Wow. You've got a lot of weight on your shoulders, don't you? Alfie chimed in to Samandriel's worried thoughts. He ignored it and tried to think about what to do.
I can help. I'm actually pretty smart. I know a lot more about this Earth place than you do, anyway.
"I know a lot of things based on instinct. I'll be fine." Samandriel said sourly. As if to demonstrate it, a thought popped into his head, a clue that would help him find the Winchesters. Plutus. Samandriel was a baby, but because he was practically made of recycled materials, a lot of things he could do was like the ghost of a muscle memory. Things came to him and he didn't know why. He felt a nag in his chest- something showing him the direction.
Samandriel gained control of his new legs and stood up, trying to get the balance right as he swayed a little. He got a funny look from a lone man at the bar across the street.
He thinks you're drunk. Alfie chimed in, trying to give him little pointers about humans on Earth. Samandriel actually felt glad that he had at least someone helping him. He flexed his wings- could he fly? Were they too small? He knew somehow that an adult's wingspan had to be at least three times the vessel's height: his pure white wings only spread, wingtip to wingtip, to about Alfie's elbows if he held his arms straight out.
Samandriel felt a pang of surprise from Alfie as he observed his shadow cast from the yellow streetlight with the added wings. He spread them as far as they could go, and tried to reach back and work on instinct. C'mon, Sam, fly.
There was an uncomfortable jerk and tug, and a split second later he was rolling on the ground, as a wall of asphalt seemed to have just jumped up right in front of him. Ow. Alfie thought sadly, as the little angel stood up shakily and examined his hands, which had gotten torn up in the failed attempt to fly. His white palms had shredded, as tiny black shards of asphalt had dug into the angry red skin. Suddenly, Samandriel knew what to do. They both watched in amazement as the cuts started to heal up, and the little black shards were pushed out and fell innocently to the ground.
Dawn was just breaking, and the sky was a light pinkish-grey. The two of them where quiet for just a second as they stared at the sky, both vaguely thinking about how strange the situation was. Samandriel felt that tiny tug in his chest again, they were closer now. Walking distance? Alfie asked meekly, he was feeling much more admiration and respect to the mysterious Samandriel that he was now sharing his body with. It was the first time Samandriel was somewhat nice back. It would seem so, but it might be somewhat of a stretch. I apologize in advance for any discomfort as a result.
It had been a stretch, Samandriel/Alfie had started to walk, their only guide being the tiny tug that told the angel where to go. They walked until noon, and they both fed off each other's relief as they found the place and sat down for just a minute of rest. During their escapade, they'd both learned much about the other.
We should probably find a mirror and freshen up if we'd like to make an impression. Then again, we're wearing a fucking wienie shack uniform. Alfie suggested, and Samandriel stood up again, but they both felt protest as the body's fatigued muscles screamed.
This is it. Samandriel thought nervously. He needed to fulfill his mission: Get the three of them, ask about Gabriel, stop the war...
Samandriel suddenly felt an oncoming rush of emotion as he thought about all his other brothers and sisters who he'd never met: there would never be another angel his own age. Then, he felt a flame of passion as he thought about how horrible it had all been, and how he could end it. But what if he couldn't convince them to trust him? What if...?
I'll guide you through it. Alfie suggested sweetly. I'm pretty good with words, let me take control when you talk to them. You're sort of an emotional wreck, bud. Samandriel didn't even try to defend himself. He'd really do that for me? It was supposed to be a private thought, but Alfie heard it nonetheless.
Talking to Dean had been a blur to Samandriel, but all he knew was that he'd gotten the point across, and he vaguely knew that Alfie had made him seem all-knowing and poetic. Don't overdo it, Samandriel warned him lightly.
Hey, I'm just taking what I think angels would be like and applying it. He bought it, anyway. Alfie retorted. Samandriel had maybe dangerously been unconcious: he only vaguely remembered something about a bid. Don't do anything stupid, Alfie. He warned, and realized that it was the first time he'd used his vessel's name. It felt all wrong, he knew that it had been his instinct to bury the human's mind and that was probably what most did, but he needed help. He needed someone to be on his side, and help him, no one else was there to tell him what to do.
Suddenly, Alfie spotted Mrs. Tran from the chair that the two had sat down to ponder and speak with each other. Samandriel suddenly just knew another message that he had to send, he needed to ask her if she wanted protection. He then realized he'd been half-listening to the ethereal network this whole time.
You angels sure are strange. Alfie said, and Samandriel felt a little embarrassed. Just take over and do some fancy talking, okay? Samandriel again knew it was all wrong as he hung around in the background and Alfie used his language skills to send the message and persuade the small woman that he was trustworthy and mature. Still, Samandriel scowled internally when Alfie had Mrs. Tran 'just use Alfie'. We can't risk blowing our cover! He hissed, but what ignored. He hoped they hadn't just blown their cover as they simply walked away, not doing anything fancy like disappearing. The boy seemed lost in thought, until a loud voice made him perk up.
"Where do you think you're going, little bird?"
Samandriel jumped and his pale blue eyes widened as suddenly a burly man was right in front of him, eyes pure black. Samandriel didn't have time to respond to the instinctual message he got-palm to forhead- it whispered, but it was too late. The lanky, thin boy was already seized by at least three large men. He struggled to try and get out of their grip, his white little wings flapping and flaring out desperately.
Next thing they knew, they were trapped in a dark, windowless room with a set of weapons on a silver wheel-in tray. Samandriel could tell they were underground, and there didn't seem to be any escape as their body was chained to the chair, chains being pulled on roughly, pinching his skin. Both of their panics intermingled. "I'm sorry," Samandriel accidentally said aloud, as he struggled against the tight chains that were digging into their thin, pale wrists. Me too, Alfie thought weakly.
Next, there had been pain, pain, and more pain. He was only a baby, he didn't know what to do, and all the secrets that had been ingrained in his mind since he'd been created were spilling much too easily right out of his mouth. He had no idea how long he'd been there, there were no gauges of time like sleep and food, both things angels didn't need to do. He didn't feel regret yet, he only wanted to escape the pain. It was worse than normal for both of them, as the pain of real flesh and blood mixed with the raw, piercing pain of a torn grace. Samandriel couldn't focus enough to heal his vessel's wounds, his head was just a mass of spinning thoughts and pain and confusion and regret...
"Put him on ice." He heard the order, but it seemed faraway and muffled. He looked up with forlorn, pale blue eyes and he realized that it had finally ended. Then, he and Alfie both started to cry as they realized how hopeless their situation was.
"He's close," Castiel said to Dean and Sam in a quiet voice as they snuck their way around, trying to find and free the angel. Castiel broke the lock on the door, and suddenly he was looking at a tall, lanky teenager in a weenie shack uniform that was torn and bloodied who was chained to a chair.
Castiel suddenly felt a strange sensation in his chest, and looked down in surprise to see that a glowing white mist had been pulled from his chest, and the somewhat shimmery tendrils were making their way toward the chained boy. He serenely looked down and felt the grace pass through his lax fingers.
No, there's no way he could be... there was a slaughter. Is this really the only thing heaven has sent me?
The kid looked up with weary eyes, but they lit up just a little when he saw his rescuers. Then he seemed to collapse on himself, it looked like he was dying. He hadn't really noticed when his chains were broken and he was stood upright, as he leaned heavily on Castiel. Suddenly, they were outside, and Samandriel was being put into the backseat of the car, as Castiel climbed in next to him.
The car was started up and running smoothly down the road, when Dean glanced to the backseat and noticed something strange that almost made him jump. A white mist was flowing from Cas's chest toward the limp teen, as he leaned unconsciously on Cas.
"What's that?" Sam beat him to it, noticing at around the same time as well.
Cas looked down at the teen with a serene expression. "He's only an infant. Why heaven chose to send him, I'm not sure. He needs grace in order to grow and develop, which he's still not done doing."
Dean knew that angels were all brothers and sisters, and he'd heard Cas use the term often, but it hadn't really sunk in until now. The way he looked at Samandriel, Dean could tell that it was the look of an older brother. And after what he'd just said about him just being a baby, no wonder he was letting him lean on him like that as the white mist slowly floated from one being to another.
Samandriel's eyes fluttered open for a brief second and he looked up into his older brother's face. Small wisps of grace were floating toward him, and he suddenly was aware that a massive, raven-black wing was draped over him, protecting him as he tried to heal. Cas looked into his baby brother's eyes-the only survivor from the next generation- and he was able to easily look past the pale blue vessel's eyes and see the stormy grey, large baby's eyes. Samandriel looked back, and saw that Castiel was one of the blue-eyed angels, even when he looked past the vessel's eyes into his true form. He closed his eyes, knowing he was in safe arms, when he also looked past the vessel and saw that Cas was wearing his core human form underneath his vessel's body.
He closed his eyes, and felt Alfie bubble up again after being dormant since the pain had started. Alfie was very faded and barely there, which scared Samandriel. You're back. I thought I'd lost you. Samandriel said when he felt his friend finally join him again. You can't rid of me that easily, Alfie joked weakly, sounding faraway. Samandriel let him take over, nudging the shared body over to his side: and suddenly the baby angel was overcome with a very human trait, sleep.
Thanks for reading! I just felt like getting out my ideas about how the war was split in heaven, and I was inspired by a few things Samandriel did (like mention Alfie and just walk away after talking to Mrs. Tran). At first I wasn't going to publish this, but I thought I might as well test the reactions! Please leave a review, I love them! :)