Author's Note: I felt compelled to dive back into this little universe that I'm shaping that is sort of AU, but not really. Anyways, this is for the people that wanted to know more about that mysterious woman Sam met in "Promise". I highly recommend that you take a look at that story before you read this one.
Grace never questioned her orders.
Whatever her superiors commanded her to do, she did without fail. She was an angel and as such, it wasn't her place to question the will of Heaven. Though she was younger than the other angels—about 300 years old compared to some angels who had been around since the days of creation itself—she was capable and trustworthy. She wasn't like Gabriel—she didn't want to take time off and "enjoy" Earth—and as such, she became a favorite of such angels as Zachariah. Her whole existence became a series of missions that she put her whole being into.
She had chosen her latest vessel about two weeks ago. Her previous one—a woman who had faithfully surrendered to her higher calling—had begun to flood Grace's mind with images of her family. In the only act of disobedience, she freed her vessel to return to her family. The woman, overjoyed, had promised to pray to Grace every day for the rest of her life. So far, she hadn't broken her vow. Grace's new vessel was a younger woman—a former bartender with luscious amber hair and sparkling blue eyes. Grace appeared to her and offered her a chance to become an instrument of Heaven and the woman—Lydia, she was pretty sure that was her name—had agreed. The first thing Grace had done after getting the hang of her new body was cut Lydia's hair. Long hair, while beautiful, could cause problems in battle and Grace always wanted to be prepared. An angel never knew when they could get into a battle with a demon or even with Hell itself. Though, Hell was currently in chaos—and had been ever since the traitor Lucifer had been sealed away—and fighting over who should rule in Lucifer's continued absence. Grace had heard the rumors, as had all angels, that the demons were going to choose a mortal to rule them. This was, of course, ridiculous. Why would demons submit to the will of a human? What would be the purpose?
She ran a hand through the now shorter hair, pleased that it just barely touched her vessel's ebony shoulders. She smiled slightly as she saw Castiel, another dedicated soldier, standing before her. Castiel was her superior and she'd be lying if she didn't admit that she admired the angel's cool demeanor. He was fully dedicated to his mission and Grace respected him for that.
"Yes, Castiel?" Icy blue eyes meet her gaze, though something odd swum within them. Regret? Sadness? Grace's expression grew troubled. "Is something wrong?" He fiddled with his trench coat, dropping his gaze.
"No," He replied quickly. "You have a mission."
"With whom shall I report to?" She forced the feelings of uneasiness away. Castiel's strange demeanor aside, she still had a job to do and she would do it to the best of her abilities. No less could be expected of an angel of Heaven.
"Zachariah." Her eyes widened slightly. This must be extremely important if Zachariah had deigned to speak with her. She nodded her thanks, before quickly heading to where the one of the head angels was located. Entering into the elegantly furnished room, she stood at attention as Zachariah faced her. "Sir."
"Ah, Grace, just who I wanted to see," He smiled widely and Grace felt strangely sickly. She couldn't explain it, but this whole situation seemed wrong. Why was such an important angel taking time out of his day to speak to her? "I have a job for you."
"Sir?" She prompted, respectfully. Idly, she wondered why Castiel wasn't handling such a mission. He had more experience than she did.
"I want you to bring to life, Dean Winchester." Shock filled her face. Heaven did not mess in matters of life and death. It wasn't their place—
"I do not understand." No sense in overcomplicating things. Zachariah chuckled and the sound sent chills down Grace's spine. "Angels cannot—" He waved off her concerns.
"Never mind the logistics of it," He replied quickly. "You have the power to turn back time—to prevent his death—and you will do it." She nodded her head in agreement. What else could she do?
"Is that the extent of the mission—?"
"No," Zachariah told her. "You will only turn back time after you have gotten his brother, Sam, to give his word that he shall not kill a man named Jake."
"Jake?" She tilted her head to the side in confusion. This was shaping up to be the weirdest mission she had ever been on. "Who is Jake?"
"A man that Sam will fight in two years," It was clear from how fast he spoke it that this matter also did not concern Grace. "It is imperative that you get his word, Grace. Otherwise, all will be lost." She stiffened and nodded her head quickly. This was her job—her duty was to Heaven and its protection. It was the only reason she existed.
"I understand, sir."
"Good," Zachariah answered. "Go then."
And then with a wave of his hand, she was gone in a flutter of wings.
In the end, Sam Winchester gave his word and Grace turned back time.
She watched from the distance as Sam sobbed in his older brother's arms. Smiling softly, she allowed some joy to fill her. This was why she was so obedient, so she could perform miracles like this. This family was now reunited and all was well. Sure, her body had taken a slight beating—her head was on fire—but to see them back together, it was worth it.
"Good job, Grace." She spun around, confused to see Zachariah standing before her.
"Thank you, sir." She answered, wondering why he was on Earth and not in Heaven. Word was that Zachariah never came to Earth unless it was of upmost importance.
"You want to know what you have done exactly?" He smirked and the joy that Grace had previously felt vanished. Dread replaced it and she stepped backwards, half out of fear. Something was very wrong here. He didn't want for her response. "You have started the apocalypse."
"What?" Her breath left her and a wave of disbelief slammed into her.
"You, my dear, have doomed this world." He plowed on, chuckling at her shocked expression. "But never fear, Grace, I will be sure that Michael will remember your sacrifice once he destroys Lucifer once and for all."
"What are you talking about?" She practically shouted. "You know that it is not for us to decide when Lucifer and Michael shall fight! Our Father—"
"Is gone," Zachariah completed dryly. "He has left us. We know not where and as such, we have concluded that the best way to get his attention is to shape this world into an Eden once more."
"Listen to yourself," Grace snapped, warily eyeing the black Impala behind her. Perhaps they could help her—? "You are speaking as if you are our Father! But it is not your place, Zachariah—"
"It does not matter what you think, Grace," Zachariah informed her, pulling out an archangel blade. "It's not personal. You're just a loose end."
"But . . ." Her voice broke. Tears pricked at her vessel's eyes. "I was following orders."
"Yes," He agreed. "And you fulfilled them marvelously. Truly, you are an outstanding angel. By doing this, you will prevent Sam from becoming King of Hell—"
"King of Hell?" She glanced skywards, wishing there was some way she could summon help. If only she knew how to get ahold of Castiel! He was more experienced. He would have a way out of this.
"Surely, you knew?" She shook her head. "Sam Winchester is an abomination. He was fed demon blood as a child. If you hadn't offered him that deal, he would've killed Jake and he would've become King of Hell."
"Would that have been so bad?" She challenged, wondering if she could outfly him.
"In the long run, no," The older angel answered. "But then the apocalypse wouldn't have happened and well . . ." He met her gaze. "It's a long story. Trust me, this is better." He advanced on her and Grace knew this was it. She couldn't outrun him and even if she could, there was nowhere she could go. Heaven would never believe her word over Zachariah's.
"Might I have a last word?" He eyed her oddly. "Please, I won't run and I won't tell anyone your plans. I just wish to speak with a friend once more." He paused, twirling the blade around before sighing.
"Very well," He relented. "Who do you wish to see?"
"Castiel." She spoke quickly.
With that, she felt herself carried along as if by a gust of wind.
"Grace?" Castiel eyed her with concern. "You are shaking. Are you ill?" She shook her head, knowing she had very little time to convey what needed to be said. He came over to her and Grace let out a shaky breath.
"I need you to promise me something."
"Yes?" His expression was puzzled, but his voice was strong and sure. He would do his best to fulfill her wishes.
"Please watch over Sam and Dean Winchester."
"I don't have time to explain," Grace could feel her life slowly ticking away, slipping between her fingers like grains of sand. "But they will need help and I cannot provide them it. It's all my fault and I cannot atone—"
"Atone for what?" Castiel interjected.
"You must protect them and watch over them, Castiel," Her eyes locked on his and she willed every ounce of strength and determination to be in them. "Promise me."
A flutter of wings and Grace found herself facing Zachariah once more. He held the blade, an almost apologetic smile on his lips. She shut her eyes as he thrust the blade forward. The metal bit into her skin and she gasped as pain engulfed her. It was all encompassing and then there was nothing.
She was adrift in the darkness.
In her final moments, Grace pictured Sam Winchester and lamented over the mess she had made with his life. If she had known what she would be setting in motion, she would've never followed her orders.
Now, the Winchester brothers were in Castiel's hands.
And somehow, Grace knew that they would be okay.
Seven years later, Sam told the story about the girl he met in the woods. Dean listened with rapt attention and Castiel soon found himself drawn in.
"So, she reset time?" Dean pressed, more perplexed than anything.
"Yeah, she did." Sam replied.
"She got you killed though," The eldest Winchester growled, protectiveness flaring up. "You know that, right?"
"She didn't know." Castiel interjected softly. Both pairs of eyes focused on him. That conversation that he had spent countless hours pouring over—his final conversation with one of his few "friends" in Heaven—and now the pieces clicked into place.
"Wait, how did you—?" Sam spoke.
"Dude, did you know her—?" Dean said over his little brother.
"Her name was Grace," Castiel said with a small smile as he remembered another time—a time before Heaven had been filled with chaos, before his fall, before the war—where he had just been an angel content to follow orders. "She was . . . a very good angel." Dean eyed him doubtfully, but Sam nodded his head in agreement.
Castiel shut in his eyes for a moment as he pictured his fallen comrade.
And as he re-opened them, he swore that he could see her, smiling in that way she did whenever she was overcome by sheer happiness. Grace was gone, but she had given him something important—the Winchesters—and he would damn himself to Hell before he allowed any more harm to come to them. True, he had made his own mistakes, but he would atone and he would keep them safe.
They were his friends after all.
"Cas, you okay?"
And with that, the angel snapped out of his reverie and slipped back into his new life with the Winchesters.
Author's Note: So, I hope that answers any questions about Grace. I'm pleased with this follow up piece and I hope you are too. I'm toying with the idea of doing a Boy King AU so we'll see if I do that. Anyways, please review if you have a second! Thanks!