Title: Post Save.
(crossposted to my LJ and to the Castielfest community)
thank you, Babnol for the beta.
Prompt: AU, Cas/Anna, the lyrics ‘And undo the damage, she’ll be new again’ by The Pierces. (I tried getting the one picture, but could only manage the stream and woods)
Summary: Saving Anna was the easy part – what do two angels do, stranded in 1978?
Characters: Castiel, Anna; mention of Michael, Dean, Sam, John and Mary Winchester.
Warnings: damage to angels and their vessels, time travel overlaps.
Word count: 1,014
Spoilers: On The Head Of A Pin, The Song Remains The Same.
Disclaimer: All canon characters are property of the scriptwriters, who, according to the finale, are GOD. All original characters are mine.
In Dean's parlance, time travel requires a full battery. Not entirely for the movement itself, no.
In going back decades, Castiel and Anna merge with the Castiel and Anna who had already been in this time. Vessel bodies merge while the angelic minds sort and settle, making sense of the future life and readjusting one's sense of placement in the skein of time. To human eyes, this all looked like exhaustion....to be fair, the reconciliation tended to result in vessels bleeding from various points.
And when I depart this year for when I came from, Castiel knew, all that merging will be undone and the two of I will be independent of one another, only a few residual memories to indicate it happened at all.
Against the better judgment of his earlier self, Cas had dragged himself to the home of John and Mary Winchester. Castiel felt the air, finding that An Archangel has arrived.
Michael, Cas knew. And he knew that Michael was not about to permit any endangerment to the Winchesters.
And Cas knew equally well whom Michael would be aiming for: Anna. Her light would be extinguished. Her grace would be dissolved into the ether. Her thoughts would be hunted down by things that made Hellhounds look like cuddly puppies.
“I have to stop you,” Cas said, thinking of Michael and, with a pounding skull, Castiel took as good an aim as he could, and charged the wall, speeding through it like a bullet through paper, not having enough energy to go around the wall and fight and make an escape. You'd better have a plan, he told Cas.
I do. Sort of, Cas replied as he came to a stop atop Michael who was half-buried by rubble, Anna having been knocked aside before Michael could lay a hand upon her. Cas set his hands on Michael's skull, and let lose: all the energy which would have gone to helping recover from the affects of time travel, was poured into Michael in weaponized form.
But he could still hear a gun blasting Uriel into oblivion, the hammer cocking back once more, this time in preparation to fire at me, Cas knew.
"Back off, Cas," Dean warned.
"I can't do that," Cas said, though he felt all set to collapse on the floor and lay there like an abandoned cornerstone.
"I meant it when I said I'm sorry," Anna said to Dean and Mary, just before Castiel heard the sound of a body and a gun hitting the wall separately. And, just as Cas felt he couldn't hold his position any longer, Anna lifted him and carried him away - back through the broken wall, and into the night.
"John??" Cas hears Mary asking.
"Dad?" Dean asks. "Michael?"
"Anna?" Cas asks weakly.
"Yes?" Anna says, hauling him through the woods. Mary will not give birth to Sam, not now; and the other Sam is dead. Those can be sufficient victory.
"Thank you," Cas said less than a minute before she stopped and set him down. Now he notice that her hair was a hint darker and she was not as tall as previously. This was before she Fell, made one with Anna Milton's body.
Brooks burbled not far from where they stood, here beneath the canopy of the temperate forest. We both win, Cas thought to himself. Anna has accomplished the mission she set for herself, and I’ve saved both her and the Winchesters.
Regardless of what happened to their parents from here on out, Dean and Sam Winchester now existed before any of the Seals had been broken, and neither he nor Dean will permit the same seals to be broken this time around. Assuming Michael doesn’t simply take Dean here and now.
But then, absent the prospect of Lucifer’s escape from Hell, Michael needs no vessel.
“You stopped Michael,” Anna said, replaying the events in her mind. Angel vs. Archangel was rather like hamster vs. freight locomotive.
“Stalled, I think,” Castiel said. “Diverted his attention, certainly.” Cas knew what one touch could do – complete and utter devastation…the only question being, how much of the surrounding district gets blasted.
"Is he dead?" Anna asked. There was always the possibility, however remote - the concept of a lucky strike existed in Heaven as it did on Earth. Usually by the hamster clogging the gears.
"I - don't know," Castiel said. "Doubtful. Michael is most likely wounded." And even if he has survived intact, John Winchester will not be capable of fathering Sam or Adam.
"I'm impressed," Anna said. A damaged Archangel was a perpetually-ringing dinner bell to anything able to hear. That an angel could reduce the mighty Michael to a walking entree... For me echoed through Anna's mind, at times questioning, and at times thoughtful, even emotional. "Thank you, Castiel."
...who was asleep.
Castiel opened his eyes and saw Anna looking out into the dark, standing beside him. "I'll take watch," Cas told her.
"We should get moving, actually," Anna said. We've stayed here long enough.
"Okay," Castiel said, rising to his feet smoother than he would've this time yesterday.
Doesn't even ask where we're going, Anna observed. "Suggestions?" she asked, and saw the same face that, after killing Uriel, had asked her to tell him what to do.
Then, a nanosecond later, "Away from Michael. And from the Winchesters," Cas said.
Oh. Well, that only leaves 99% of creation. And that's not counting the resources and manpower Michael can call upon. But she couldn't hold the non-answer against him, because it was also true in a tactical sense.
But tactically, the two of them were in a quandary. A bind would've been easier to escape from. Whether Michael was winged, wounded, or dead, Anna and Cas were persona non grata in Heaven. They weren't about to contemplate any deal with Hell. So that left two options.
Live on the run, for however many millennia.
Or talk to the gods...or Gabriel, if he was locatable.
"Let's go," Anna said to Cas. And we’ll get there, we will.