In the SPN Rare Pairing fest.
A great many thanks to my beta, Sabaceanbabe, who rescued the good parts and gave me advice that let those good parts rule the fic.
Word count: 7652 words.
Characters/pairings: Bobby, Sam, Crowley, Meg/Castiel, Castiel/Atropos, Gabriel/Kali, Dean/Lisa, Raat/Castiel
Summary: The capture and rise of the God Cas.
Author notes: This takes place after the s6 finale, paying no attention to any episodes of the new season.
Note: I use “Cas” to distinguish him as a deity from him as an angel…even if some old acquaintances still call him Castiel.
Title: Lisa and Meg vs. the Great God Cas
Trilogy: The Descent Of Cas.
Word count: 3110 words.
Characters/pairings: Bobby, Sam, Castiel/Atropos, Gabriel/Kali, Dean/Lisa.
Warnings: Bad language.
Summary: Crowley gets caught. And Lisa and Meg are told to catch Cas or else…and then they have fun. Last night on Earth. Mention of Dean/Lisa.
Author notes: This takes place after the s6 finale, paying no attention to any episodes of the new season.
PROLOGUE: Crowley’s POV:
I’m not ashamed to say I got out of there and away from my ex-partners with all available speed. Your analogy’s flawed, by the way, as bats don’t go anywhere near Hell. Anyway, I was safely hundreds of kilometers off, when I was nabbed.
Some small comfort I managed to land on my feet, right in the same backyard I made that fateful deal with Cas. No, not the same yard, but it felt the same. And with the denim boys still back with Cas, I hadn’t figured out why that was.
“Crowley,” a nubile young woman said. She was already here before I arrived. “Castiel won’t find you here.”
“That’d be a comfort if he was still an angel,” I tell her. “As things stand, however, he’s the universe’s newest god.”
And she looks at me like I’m some slow-witted mook about to be parted from his soul - I know that look, done it enough myself. “Not all things stand, Crowley,” she tells me with an I don’t let them implicit in her words.
“You got a plan?” I ask.
“You will inform Castiel that he must know his place before My assassins come for him, or they will kill him. If he does not do the right thing, then this is his final night.”
“This vessel, and the demon behind you. And should they fail, it will also be their last night.”
From the quality of the cursing, I know Meg’s behind me. Methinks she didn’t land as well as I did. “That’s sweet. And whom shall I tell Cas is sending him such nice presents? Assuming of course he doesn’t simply extinguish me on sight.”
“You are under My protection for this errand,” the woman says. “Castiel dated My Sister… No, he dated Me. He knows who I am.” And she backs out from her vessel, revealing a thread that slides into the earth.
“What was that?” Meg and the vessel ask me.
“Trouble,” I say to them both. Then, to the vessel, “Who’re you?”
* * * * * * * * *
Atropos settled into the ground and the nearest trees and telephone poles. She was going to see what her assassins would do when given a task of this size. She listened to their words and their thoughts.
“It’s up to us?” Lisa asked. “Why is it our job to kill a god or to die trying?”
“Meatsacks are expendable,” Meg said.
“So where does that leave you, partner?”
“Ready to make something bleed.”
“How do we find a god?”
“Why’re you asking me?”
“You knew him.” Or so Crowley said.
“So did you,” Meg said.
I don’t remember… But then, maybe this Castiel messed with my memory, or who knows who did. ‘Cause something took me over to talk to Crowley, and restored and repaired my memories at the same time. “If you say so.”
Meg spat on the grass.
“No ideas at all?” Lisa asked, pretty sure this qualified as needling a demon.
“Threaten the Winchesters with some good ol’ fashioned torture. Oh wait, he’s already got them.” Keep up, stupid fleabag.
“What about summoning?”
“Yeah, it works with other things, doesn’t it ?”
“Maybe you’re not a useless bitch,” Meg said.
“Thank you, I thi- Wait.”
“When we summon it, what then?”
“How’s about you talk it to death?” Meg suggested.
“Or we could just use a trap,” Lisa said. I learned a few new ones since Dean showed me some.
“Trap a god who ate Purgatory? That’s balls, if nothing else. So what’re the bars going to be, Einstein?”
Lisa shrugged. “You’re the expert.”
“Compared to you, a beginning apprentice in Hell is an expert.”
“Then why were you picked for this? Hell, why were either of us selected?”
Meg was quiet for a while. “I may have flirted with Castiel a bit.”
“And I was practically married to Dean,” Lisa said.
“So that rugrat’s his?”
“No. Ben is mine. Dean didn’t care.”
That set Meg to laughing.
Lisa punched her to the ground.
“Do that again,” Meg challenged her, looking up at her, “and I’ll get in your head,” her smile telling Lisa that psychiatry wouldn’t be involved.
So Lisa took a breath and a step back. “We’ve got a job to do,” she told Meg.
“Let’s set some ground rules so we can get this done and each of us go our own way afterward. Sound good?”
“My family’s off-limits,” Lisa said.
“Fine,” Meg said. “So’s this husk. Hit it, kiss it; just don’t ask about her.”
Lisa nodded, even knowing that Dean would’ve teased Meg, asking if it was personal. “Could we put up concentric circles of the strongest wardings you know?”
“That’d be a start,” Meg granted as she hauled herself to her feet. “How ‘bout you? Dean teach you any?”
Of course she wouldn’t ask - I’ll answer anyway. “Dean’s okay, conversation-wise. I just figured Alastair showed you the really good ones.”
“He told you that much? Huh. And you’re probably right. Let’s get our asses in gear.”
* * * * *
“You’re fucking with me,” Meg muttered as the two of them looked over their handiwork.
“Sorry, but I just got out of a relationship,” Lisa replied. “Seriously, what’s wrong with it?” as the sun was about to dip below the horizon. Only streetlights a block away and the ethereal light of the street’s newest writings lit anything.
“You did the inner rings, and they’re obviously taken from ‘The Dresden Files.’” Suppose I should be glad they aren’t from ‘Lord of the Rings.’
“You recognized them.”
“Bob’s a hunk. Sue me.”
“Nope - I agree.”
“Maybe there is a brain in there,“ Meg said. “Pray my rings hold Cas,” and they began the summoning.
At the expected time, Cas appeared in the center of the circles and immediately began to push the rings outward.
“Screwed,” Meg whispered to Lisa.
But then the outermost of the inner rings touched the innermost of the outer rings, ()and merged. When that happened, the rings stopped expanding.
“Or not,” Lisa whispered back.
“Let me go,” Cas told them.
“Nah,” Meg said. “Shoe’s on the other foot, sexy. Demon Traps’re a bitch.”
“You know who we are,” Lisa said.
“I do,” Cas said. “Particularly Meg.”
“It wasn’t that good a kiss,” Meg said.
“Do you know where Dean is?” Lisa asked him.
“Before you summoned me, I drew him close to me,” Cas said. “So that he would witness my bringing an end to the civil war in Heaven.”
“But he’s safe for now?”
“He is,” Cas said.
“Good to know.”
“Release me,” Cas ordered.
“Why?“ Lisa asked.
“Fleshy’s got a point,” Meg said.
“I was not speaking to either of you,” Cas said.
Meg laughed. “You don’t bring shit with you when you’re summoned.”
“Had you summoned an angel, that would be true. Now -”
“You’re going to be told ‘no’ a third time?” Lisa asked.
“Angels are always stubborn bastards,” Meg said.
“On that, you and Dean agree.”
“I feel dirty,” Meg said, then looked at Cas. “What, no clever words about blasphemy or appropriateness? Never thought Purgatory’s power would pussify an angel.”
“I don’t need words,” Cas said. To the darkness behind the women, Cas said, “Handle them.”
A hoarse heavy breathing came out of the night, approaching the women. The breath was hot and oily, reeking of fish and leather and an undercurrent of something that would have made them drop any weapons they held in their hands.
“New girlfriend?” Meg managed to ask Cas.
Something slid forth from the shade and shadows.
“Leviathan,” Lisa said.
“I am,” Leviathan replied to her. To Cas, “No.”
“You told me -” Cas said.
“I stated I would side with you on Earth. I did not say or imply I would fight on your behalf or at your behest.”
“Then why side with me?”
“Amusement,” Leviathan said.
“Civil wars are a laugh riot. Didn’t you get the memo?” Meg said to Cas.
“I cannot be harmed by those on either side,” Leviathan said to Cas. “I was created to be impervious to angels as much as I am to humans. The Peri do know my weakness, though.”
“Scratching behind the ears?” Lisa guessed.
“I have no ears. But your speculation wins you a clue. On Earth as it is in Heaven,” Leviathan said. “The same form as Shakespeare’s ‘You mistake, the musician likes me not.”
“So now we’re spoiling for choices here,” Lisa said.
Meg looked at her.
“He’s saying that Heaven is like some place on Earth,” Lisa explained. “Am I right?”
“You were. A place in times past,“ Leviathan said. “And back to responsibility,” and was gone.
“That he left won’t help you,” Cas said. “I myself am as old as life on this planet.” Multicellular life.
“And yet you’re the one trapped,” Crowley said, finally returning, on the other side of Cas. He walked around him to join the women.
“If you know what’s good for you…” Cas warned him.
“I never really cared for broccoli, matter of fact. Now, I can let you keep getting your chain jerked by these two ladies, or you can tell me what it is somebody wants you to accept responsibility for. Your choice, mate.”
“You got a kid?” Meg asked Cas. “Want me to rip him apart for you?”
“Ah young love,” Crowley chuckled to Lisa.
“Atropos,” Cas said.
Crowley ducked and looked around. Meg hit the ground. Lisa frowned.
“Don’t do that,” Crowley grumbled at Cas. “Or is that the little one’s mum? Never really pictured her as a mum, to be honest.”
“There is no child, you idiot,” Cas said. “She expects me to be less than a god.”
“What does that have to do with responsibility?”
“She’s big on duty and filling one’s obligations. Courtly behavior. She was always like that.”
“Rather understandable,” Crowley said, and was gone again.
No wonder Dean had headaches, Lisa thought. People can appear and disappear in the middle of a conversation. “Castiel?” Lisa asked him.
“I was,” Cas said, looking at her.
“You feel up for Twenty Questions?”
“If I don’t?”
“You stay in the circle. Get too many wrong, same thing.”
“And if I answer them correctly?” Cas asked intently. “You will give me release?”
Meg chuckled. “Or something in the ballpark.”
“Ready to begin ?” Lisa asked.
Cas asked, “Do you expect me to dance on the head of a pin?” knowing all the angel-related clichés that Dean would have used.
“Can you?” Lisa asked.
Meg’s grin grew broader. Walked right into that one, angel baby.
“I don’t dance,” Cas said.
“Okay then, what do you do?” Meg asked.
“I would’ve thought she was crystal clear,” Lisa said. “Whether you’re an angel or a god or whatever, what can you do?”
“I’ll show you,” Cas said.
They waited patiently. Cas just stood there.
“Any day in particular?” Lisa asked.
“First you have to let me out of this,” Cas said.
“Reminds me of something one of Ben’s babysitters told me,” Lisa said.
“Do tell,” Meg said.
“If there’s something that God can’t do, then He isn’t God.”
“Typically offensive shit,” a man said a few meters behind the women.
They turned around and saw him, an unassuming gentleman in quiet clothes.
“And you’d be…?” Meg asked.
“Wallaby,” Cas said.
“Castiel,” Wallaby said with a tip of his hat. “Still doing things the hard way?”
“I am doing what I must.”
“Be that as it may, kid, you keep this up, and nobody will talk about you.”
“What?” Lisa asked.
“He doesn’t mean gossip,” Cas said. “He means religious lore both canonical and apocryphal.”
“And what a tale this would be for the grandkids,” Wallaby said.
“So you lot get power from people talking about you?” Meg asked. “Or just get your jollies?”
“Power, no. Bindings and loopholes, yes. A two-edged sword, after all. The boy here’s new, so raw he can’t do anything special.” He looked to his left and nodded, as though he was listening to half a conversation. Then, looking back at Lisa and Meg, Wallaby said, “Much as I’d love to talk the night away, I promised Nagloya and the others I’d bring the popcorn to the spectacle.”
“What spectacle?” Meg asked.
“Why, the binding or release of Castiel, and the siege or surrender of the same.”
“Who would lay siege to me?” Cas asked him.
“Heaven’s doors are locked to you, kid, in a way they aren’t to most gods.”
Cas made a noise.
“So he’s supposed to lay siege to Heaven?” Lisa asked.
“Supposed to?” Wallaby asked. “Castiel’s amorphous and lacking any sort of direction. Boy couldn’t walkabout if he tried. Hell, probably can’t even make water.”
“Is that something easy to do?”
“Even humans can do it,” he said and left in a half-heard song.
“Not a word,” Lisa told Meg.
“Was I saying anything?” Meg asked, chuckling.
“I walked into it?”
Meg nodded. “In waders, wellies, and stilts.”
“Won’t happen again.”
Meg looked skeptical.
“Another question for you,” Lisa said to Cas.
“What now?” Cas asked.
“Since you‘re so new, I‘m told you‘re new, anyway… Are you bound by the same rules as all the other gods?”
“You know the rules?”
“Har de har har. An answer designed to throw me off balance and make me wonder if you know any at all. And if you know any, then which ones do you know.”
“Wow, paranoid much? Honesty, guile, take your pick. The question stands.”
“I obey the same laws as my Father before me,” Cas said.
“Taking into account your power source.”
“Good to know,” Lisa said, then she drew Meg aside. “Got thoughts, girlie?” Meg asked.
“One, yeah,” Lisa said. “A plan that should work.”
“Should, horseshoes, hand grenades.”
She nodded. “From what I’ve been told, demons can do telekinesis - you make objects move-”
“Even when they’re on the other side of the room. I do know stuff,” Meg said.
“Never doubted that. Just figured that being able to do it doesn’t mean you knew what we called it.”
“I’ve met demons like that,” Meg granted her. “What’d you have in mind?”
“Break the binding rings.”
“You’re more nuts than your boyfriend, and I don’t mean that in a way I like,” Meg said.
“That’s where my plan comes in.”
“And if it goes tits-up?”
“You just released him from captivity,” Lisa said. “Doesn’t that en-debt-en him or create an obligation?”
Meg just looked at her. “You’re making this shit up as you go, aren’t you?”
“Not all of it,” Lisa said, lowered her head and began to quietly pray.
“Fucked. Screwed. Doomed,” Meg grumbled as she started work on undoing the outermost rings of inscriptions, glaring at the street puddles and stones she was using to erase and interrupt the circles.
Cas watched patiently.
Crowley wasn’t patient: “Oy, quit your moaning. Unless someone turned you into a ghost, and you forgot to mention it.”
“Don’t worry, big boy, you’re on my shit list if I live through this,” Meg promised him. To Lisa, she said, “If I die, I’ll haunt your kid ‘til he dies and then some.”
The great god Cas was slapped to the ground. Then hauled up by his lapels, and dropped onto where his wings had been.
“Not done yet?” Meg asked Lisa, who shook her head. “Definitely pay-per-view fun.”
“Clearly you and I watch very different things there,” Crowley quipped.
Cas’ chin jerked up, then he was buffeted from side to side.
“Invisible boxing spell?” Meg asked. “I like.”
“First rule of prayer I ever learned,” Lisa said as Cas was knocked to his knees and kicked in the wings, “was to always find the right intercessor.”
“A+ for the young lady,” Crowley said.
The battle continued for another minute, with the merged circle broken into a crack by Meg’s efforts., at which point Lisa stopped praying. Both women and Crowley watched in silence. If something had gone wrong, Cas would stain the street with them all.
Now that the fight was done, Cas was wobbly getting to his feet…
And Dean was no longer within Cas' - he was standing between Cas and the women, looking at the pair of them. “Never thought I’d be seeing this,” Dean said.
“Outside a fantasy at least,” Meg said. “Or would that have been with Bela?”
“Definitely not with you,” Dean said.
“We’ll finish the conversation later, Dean,” Lisa said. I suspect you left some things out of what you told me of Bela, which wasn’t much. I don’t expect an explanation or an accounting… I just like the look on your face right now.
Meg laughed richly.
“Finish it before I get back, then,” Cas told them. “Because I intend to.”
“You’re still going to Heaven, Cas?” Dean asked.
“Without my witnesses, so it seems.”
“Either you get your ass kicked, or you win.”
“A.k.a., stop waffling,” Meg told Cas.
“Agreed. I’ve dawdled enough. I’ll finish with you later,” and rocketed himself Heavenwards. There was a groundslap of thunder, and Cas was gone.
“Now, about you -” Dean started to say to Meg.
“Let’s try not to cross paths from now on,” Lisa said, earning a startled look from Dean.
“Fine by me,” Meg said, and was gone.
“I’m gonna take a wild guess here,” Dean said. “Time for a nice long chat?”
Atropos rose from the ground after Dean had crossed most of the distance to Lisa. One moment, Atropos was a thread rising into the air from the soil, and in the next she was that librarian-looking young lady. “She remembers, Dean,” Atropos said. Atropos glanced at Crowley, who disappeared. “Now, I have an appointment in Heaven. Time to see if Castiel learned anything.”
“You can’t get there before he does,” Dean said. “I mean, you’re both gods, right?”
“That hurt,” Atropos said.
“She’s bigger than gods, Dean,” Lisa said.
“Still, he can -”
Atropos’ smile stopped Dean cold. “I’m a big girl, I can handle it,” and was gone in an instant.
“Let’s go home,” Lisa said.
“Sounds like a plan,” Dean said. “I’ll drive.”
“You have to wait half an hour before driving.”
“That’s after eating. Nobody said anything about how long I have to wait after being held in some holy angel pocket whatever.”
“I just did. And since Ben’s at his grandmother’s, how about a pizza?”
“I love you.”
“I know.” I love you too.
Title: The Invasion of Heaven.
Trilogy: The Descent Of Cas.
Word count: 1940 words.
Characters/pairings: Castiel/Raat, Leviathan, Peri, Castiel/Atropos.
Warnings: Massive angel deaths.
Summary: Cas launches his invasion of Heaven. Last night on Earth. Castiel/Atropos.
Author notes: This takes place after the s6 finale, paying no attention to any episodes of the new season.
Note: Raat was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of fresh water, daughter of Anubis…back when Anubis was the son of Ra. I imagine she wasn’t happy when her dad became Osiris’ son.
The cloudless skies overhead roiled and rumbled. Cas looked at the humans and demons. “Agreed. I’ve dawdled enough. I’ll finish with you later,” and rocketed himself Heavenwards.
Being composed of mostly light, few things are faster than an angel. Even fewer are faster than an angel with the power of a god. And yet something intercepted Cas: a living armored wall.
Cas brushed off the superficial effects of the impact. “Leviathan. Get out of my way,” Cas said. You never told me before whom it was who let you out of your corral?
“I was crafted to wage war against other gods. I should kill you this instant, but perhaps a measure of redemption first.”
Is this a change from before, or more of the same ? “I will forgive you, when you cease moving,” Cas said - the edges of Cas’ being were looking for a way around, to no avail, for the armor of Leviathan kept swishing back to be in the way.
“Not I, for I have never offended those mightier than myself.” Not to Cas, Leviathan hollered to the four corners, “PERI!”
And from all points of Earth came the Peri, fallen angels with fire in their eyes. Cas observed that a few of them were positioning themselves between him and the Gates of Heaven.
“I’ll watch first,” Leviathan said.
Cas was attacked by Peri working in teams. The first few waves, he shook off. Then he knocked them aside. A few got blasted into storm clouds.
And still they came. “Why are you in my way?” Cas asked one, gripping three of her wings and peeling her apart from her team, then he bowled the team’s other members into next week.
“Gods and their subordinates fight on worlds all the time. But an assault on Heaven is rare. If my sisters repulse your attempt, we will be redeemed and permitted reentry.”
“You should never have strayed,” Cas told her.
“So says the walking heresy,” she said, biting him while her free wings stabbed into Cas.
Cas crushed her absolutely, and was about to brush away the ashes when he remembered something:
“Gods also fight,” Castiel had said.
“True. But it’s not our raison de etre.”
“You are an angel, Castiel,” Atropos had said to him once. “If you gain the power of a god, you cannot create anything lasting.”
“You’re wrong,” Castiel had replied.
“No. Never that.”
“We are angels,” Anna told him ages before her fall. “We have our roles.”
Those combined with the present obstacles to give Cas an idea. As Dean had once told him, ‘Catfights are a powerful thing,’ Cas used that as a guiding principle as he gathered up airborne flecks of dust and skin, tiny spiders and seeds, using the might given to him by Purgatory to create warrior women of his own. The matter - dust, spiders - were just to kickstart the creation, as there was no time to lose to ex novo Creation.
The knot of newly created were knotty-haired, ready to grapple whatever they were turned against. “Go,” Cas told them, and they went, steaming into the Peri - and blowing up, one by one along with the Peri.
All the exploded Peri burned brightly as their flames sailed back together, reconstituting each team back again.
Cas used the moments to surge himself closer to the gates, leaving a trail of more exploders - extra-bitey this time, with serrated wings. Not just to fend off the Peri, but to deal with the approaching Leviathan.
At the Gates of Heaven, Cas found the tattered remnants of the Heavenly Host waiting for him. Even those who had once been loyal to him, now shot out at him, alongside their equally exhausted recent foes, the Rafael loyalists. And both sides were fighting in the company of the fence-sitters who hadn’t taken a side in the Heavenly Civil War. Their weariness combined with a habit of attacking so each individual strikes separately, made them easy for Cas and his creations to defeat.
Into the Gate was Cas’ next move, knowing that the Gate could not be opened by anyone but his Father, if even He could.
Within the Gate were well-lit gorges and cliffs, each of them with a Bridge.
Cas crashed to the ground at the foot of one of the Bridges. “The weight of souls,” Cas knew. Even just one would have left me unable to fly in here. Heaven was designed for the dichotomy of humans (with souls) and angels (no soul).
Cas took his first step onto the Bridge, and nearly fell off it when it abruptly became only inches-thin and sharply tilted.
He considered, thinking quickly. Creating things ex novo could take days, or longer. It was not a tactic for the middle of a race or a war.
Remembering what an old romantic acquaintance had said once, Cas raised his hands and spit into them, using his own saliva as a starting point. He flung the saliva-based creeping-mat onto the Bridge, stepping on it and letting it bind to his shoes. No matter how steeply or quickly the Bridge changed, the creeping-mat was able to keep up, a perpetual motion machine going uphill and forward.
Cas rode his creation all the way across, letting it rest once they reached the opposite end of the Bridge.
When Cas stepped onto the ground on the other end of the Bridge, there was someone there waiting for him. “Raat. It’s been a while,” Cas said. And it’s thanks to you I succeeded just now.
“It has,” Raat agreed, standing at parade rest all the while. “The Eocene’s early days, it was. You’ve gotten bigger since then, I see,” she said.
“I am a god now.”
Rather than waste time addressing that and getting into one more argument he could ill afford right now, Cas asked her, “Why are you here? To join me?”
She sighed. “Castiel, as I told you when Napoleon was alive, I sought sanctuary in this Heaven precisely because I have no interest in joining anyone.”
“Are you here to stop me then?”
“It would be a kindness were I to stop you,” Raat said. “Do you seek my kindness?”
“I thought water was indifferent,” Cas said.
“As neutral as Thursdays, Castiel,” she replied. “And I want you to know that you must Know when you leave here.”
“What must I know?”
“Hierarchy. Authority. How to act.”
“I know what I need,” Cas said. “Heaven’s civil war is over. I will sit on the Holy Throne until my Father returns.”
“They won’t let you do that until and unless you do what must be done.”
“The other angels cannot stop me. The other gods are prohibited by treaties from interfering.”
The treaties relevant to this, would consider you one of ‘the other gods,’ Castiel. But you’re deaf to such arguments. Therefore… “Know when to kneel, Castiel.”
“I will kneel before my Father, and to no one else.”
“And to whom do you think he knelt?”
“Not to you,” Cas said.
“This is true,” Raat said. Standing to one side so Cas could pass, she said, “Well, I hope you survive.”
“Thank you,” Cas said, and walked to the nearest exit. Passing through it, he was inside Heaven. He knew exactly where inside - The boundary of the Field of Cages. The place where defeated enemies were placed when they were too powerful to destroy, and if they had no allies to vouch for their future good behavior and take them home.
“Come to join us, Castiel?” Yamm inquired.
“Or release us, father,” said Riverbender, a potent force back in the Jurassic.
Aten ignored them all, as usual.
Cas took to the air, veering around the cages and captives until he reached the central Temple, where the Holy Throne resides.
And he found Atropos standing at the foot of the Holy Throne. A vacant throne.
“Atropos,” Cas said. “Have you come to wish me well?”
“You’re leaving? After working so hard to get here, to leave…interesting.”
“I’m not leaving. I’m going to be God’s Regent.”
“After the death of so many archangels, of course.”
“None of the survivors oppose me.”
“They all oppose you, Castiel. That was them outside the Gates. Sans Michael and Lucifer - you know where they are.”
“I do. Do you want to join them there?”
“An idle threat,” Atropos said. “I do not ever go where I wish to go.”
“That can be changed,” Cas said.
“There is a precedent, Castiel,” Atropos said. “For one to jump from one pantheon to another.”
“I am not jumping anywhere,” Castiel said. Nor will I found my own pantheon. Through all of time, I have fought for Heaven.
“Your power and might is,” she replied. “That is not drawn from anything your Father created. It is as foreign as I.”
“My Father gave you your job.”
Atropos smiled, but the smile fled when she asked sadly, “Have you forgotten the earliest Triassic?”
“I forget nothing.”
“Very well. Then let us proceed. You can take the Throne, Castiel,” Atropos said. She never stepped aside. “But there is one action you must take before you can be seated.”
“No, there isn’t,” Cas said.
She smiled at him.
“Yes, you’re still pretty. Now stand aside,” Cas told her.
“One of your former traveling company had a quaint charming expression. What was that?” Atropos asked. As her smile thinned, Dean’s disembodied voice echoed through the room: “Make me.”
“You wouldn’t last five minutes in a fight, Atropos, and you know it.”
“You’ll recall that Thor failed to defeat me in a fight, Castiel, and he actually tried. You’re just talking.”
“Very well,” Cas said and was about to launch his assault when Atropos snapped her fingers, and ringing the center of the room were scores of gods, angels, ancestors, and a few humans. “What is this?”
“Witnesses,” Atropos said. “You wouldn’t want your reign to be illegitimate, or for you to be accused of cheating…would you?”
In the audience, “Hey, aren’t you dead?” Bobby Singer asked Ganesh.
“It’s complicated, kiddo. Just stand back and let’s all watch the show,” Ganesh said.
In the center of the room, Atropos waited for Castiel to make the first move.
“You can still kneel,” Cas told her.
“That’s not how it works,” she replied. “Until you can prove otherwise,” knowing it would never happen.
Cas fired bolts of energy at Atropos.
It was all soaked up by her skin and clothes.
He decided to try a new tack, a more personal one - Cas ran at her.
He ran into her. Ran through her. Stumbled to his feet less than a meter away. He couldn’t feel much of anything within himself where he had been full of power only seconds ago.
“You’ve forgotten the Permian, Castiel,” Atropos said sadly. “Golems are vessels. Angels need vessels. Gods can make vessels. And I…”
“I remember,” Cas said.
“Then you should remember I said I would have to destroy you when you tried to make me submit.”
“I hadn’t understood at the time.”
“Are you pleading ignorance?”
Feeling like the ant who has become aware of the incoming shoe, Cas said, “It doesn’t matter. Do what you’re going to do.”
“Suddenly you don’t want to fight. I’m the only one here who saw that coming.”
“Just do it,” Cas said, and forced the issue. “Or kneel before me.”
Sadly, Atropos grabbed him by his throat, and hurled him to the earth.
Title: Until the End of Castiel
Word count: 2602 words
Characters/pairings: Bobby, Sam, Castiel/Atropos, Gabriel/Kali, Dean/Lisa.
Summary: Last night on Earth. Sex Pollen. Castiel/Atropos. Shades of Gabriel/Kali. Mention of Dean/Lisa.
Author notes: This takes place after the s6 finale, paying no attention to any episodes of the new season.
Before she drop-kicked me from Heaven, Atropos whispered to me, “Say your goodbyes, Castiel.” And she plucked out of me all the Purgatory energies and nearly all my angelic powers.
As I descended towards North America, I could see that Gabriel and Kali were about to partake of some heavy snuggling when they found themselves in Bobby’s bookroom, with Bobby now sitting at his desk, with the Winchesters about to walk in - Dean dropped there sans Lisa.
“Hey, guys,” Gabriel said.
“Aren’t you dead?” Dean asked.
“Missing the point,” Kali muttered.
“Excuse me? We saved your ass -”
“And a lovely one at that,” Gabriel interrupted.
“From Lucifer. So excuse me if we’re missing the… what point?” Dean asked.
“I didn’t bring us here,” Kali said. “Nor were we summoned. And for all his energies, Gabriel isn’t yet back at the dual transportation level.”
“TMI,” Gabriel said sotto voice, “particularly for them.”
“Oh please, we’ve heard worse than that, even from you,” Dean said.
“Who’re you?” Bobby asked Kali.
Dean fixed the oversight right there: “Right, about that. Bobby, this is Kali and Gabriel - you know, the angel posing as a god.”
“You’re welcome,” Gabriel muttered. They won’t thank you for saving them from being eaten or ransomed by gods, Gabriel.
“The Kali?” Bobby asked her.
“I am,” she said. “And this is beside the point.”
“What is the point?” Sam asked.
Kali ignored the question. Instead, she looked across the ceiling for something invisible to human eyes, and yanked Gabriel out of the way of my plummeting to the floor. She and Gabriel could tell that I had just been in Heaven - and kicked out of there with all possible force. If it were any more obvious, even the Winchesters would be able to tell just by looking at me.
“That is the point,” Kali deadpanned.
To Dean’s human eyes, it looked like I had materialized on the ceiling and fell to the floor from there. “Cas?” Dean asked.
“Souls…” I said weakly.
“They seem to be gone,” Kali said.
“Welcome back to angelhood, bro,” Gabriel said, helping me to my feet. “You hungry?”
My eyes focused, and I made a rude noise. “Gone. No more chances.”
“Somebody want to tell me what just happened?” Bobby asked those assembled. One minute you were among those assembled in Heaven, and the next…
“I tried to take Heaven,” I said. I’m still bleary. “I got past the armies, the Gate, the Bridge, the Field of Cages…”
“And then?” Dean asked.
“I ran into Atropos in the Throne Room.”
“Twice in a year - that a record?” Dean kidded with me.
“I was prideful,” I said. One of the worst offenses an angel can enact. “I wouldn’t kneel before her. Should have. She is might and luminosity and glory.”
Gabriel whistled. “Boy’ve you got it bad.”
“Mind translating for the rest of us?” Bobby asked.
“Can’t - none of you have the frame of reference… Though maybe you do. When you were doing the mambo with that Purgatory miss, did it feel like part of you was either falling or being eaten?”
“Well, kinda, yeah,” Bobby said after a bit. “But at the time I figured that was from her nibbling on my shoulder.” Dr. Visyak(sp) won your heart. Even if she could have eaten your soul in any moment she so chose.
“I know the feeling, boyo,” Gabriel told Bobby. “That’s how it is when you get involved with a higher form of life. And Atropos is waaay up there.”
I was still talking while I listened to them talking about all of that. I can do both, and I always could, and I still can, even in this weakened state. Now I said, “I should have knelt. All I needed to do was kneel. She said if I did that… There was nothing else stopping me from taking the Throne.”
“Taking God’s place?” Sam asked.
“I refused, and like the Peri, I was cast down from Heaven,“ I said. “Atropos told me I have a few hours left to live.”
“That’s mighty considerate of her,” Dean quipped.
“With great power comes great decisions on a whim,” Gabriel said.
“And you know all about that, Peter Parker.”
“From both sides of the equation, yep.”
“Once I was enthroned, then I would have made Atropos the Queen of Heaven,” I said, explaining one of my aims. Or what had been one of my aims.
“That’s just rude,” Kali said.
“Sounds like a pretty nice side benefit of marrying him,” Sam said.
“For a human, yes, I can see how that would be appealing. For Atropos, it would be a demotion.”
“A demotion? To ruling the universe?” Dean asked.
Kali rolled her eyes. “Do you know what Atropos does?”
“Do you understand the implications thereof?”
She sighed. “Her equals are Her Sisters, Her Brother, and Death. All we gods play at Their feet. All humans play at our feet.”
“Okay,” Sam said. “Atropos’ sisters are the Fates.”
Kali nodded. “Also the Norns and various other names your kind have called them by.”
“Right. And we’ve met Death.”
“Nice guy. Loves his pizza,” Dean said. “So who’s this girl’s brother?”
“The Primordial Sea,” Kali said. His very existence makes Him the most frightening fighter I have ever encountered.
“Thought that was all gone,” Bobby said.
“Demons have at times in history thought the same about hunters.”
“Got a point there.”
“Except what you said doesn’t make sense,” Dean said. “God gave Fate her job - yeah, Cas let us in on the conversation he had with her.”
Kali gave a lopsided little smile. “If I had appeared before you six years ago, and told you to be a hunter of demons, what would have been your response?”
“Get stuffed, I already am,” Dean said. “Only not as polite.”
She nodded, accepting that. “And if you were more polite, and only knew me as one who destroys any who cross her…then what?”
“Thankya kindly, missy, I’ll get right on it.”
“And now that you seem to begin to understand, what do you think would have happened if you had told me to be a hunter of demons. Further assume I was in a good mood at the time.”
“But you already are,” Sam said. “A hunter of demons, I mean. You might thank us for letting you do your job, but it technically wouldn’t change anything.”
Technicalities, gestures, and legalities are the framework of the universe. Formality rules more of the cosmos than entropy does.
“And now you see,” Kali said.
“The Sea has normally been kept out of this part of reality,” I said. “The last time part of It came through…” In geological terms, the occasion is known as the Permian-Triassic Boundary.
“Bloodshed, carnage, all the gods and their servants working in unison,” Kali said.
“There’s a special glow about her in times like that,” Gabriel said proudly.
“What, when she’s up to five elbows in blood?” Dean asked, only half-jokingly. He’s good at that.
Kali just looked at Dean and shook her head. “Simply because you no longer take pride in your work, does not mean I may not.”
“What’cha talking about? I take plenty of pride in my work.”
“Not when compared with the enthusiasm you once bubbled over with, when it came to hunting.”
Gabriel smirked at the Winchesters. “And you thought I could read you kids like a book?”
Bobby saw the look on my face. “Something else on your mind?” Bobby asked me.
I said, “The last time any of the Sea came through, the devastation let the ferns blossom enough to trigger -”
“Good times,” Gabriel interrupted. And he says to Dean, “And this time I mean happy happy fun times. You know, like you and Lisa.”
“- and I met Atropos for the first time,” I said, finishing my sentence.
“What’s the significance of ferns?” Sam asked.
“In a cliché expression that’s delightfully accurate -- Sex pollen,” Gabriel said. “For gods and angels and half a dozen other kinds of folks.”
“You guys get randy from hay fever?” Dean asks, chuckling as I see in his mind he is imagining himself and Lisa getting it on whenever the pollen count went up.
“Why did you think so many religious traditions have an apocalypse?” Kali asked quietly, her tone underscoring the seriousness of her point.
“To make way for a better world,” Sam said.
“Can’t have a better world without sex,” Dean said. “Okay, I see your point. But still, Cas - you and Fate?”
“So big,” I said, remembering said. “She took me into herself. I didn’t know what to do. Nothing I did seemed to affect her.”
“I think we’re very close to TMI here, Cas,” Dean said, holding up a hand.
“I told her I would find a way. Bridge the gap in some way.”
“Wait a minute,” Gabriel said. “Atropos is the reason you wanted to be an archangel so badly?”
“So when Crowley approached you about Purgatory…” Sam said.
“The power of a god,” Dean said.
“So damn close,” Dean said.
Another nod. “In several senses of the word,” I say.
“So what’re you going to do now?” Sam asked.
“I only have a few hours left in which to exist. After that…sheol.”
“He’ll cease to exist not long after dying - it’s a bit of slang we picked up,” Gabriel said.
“But that’s not what the -”
Gabriel interrupted Sam by re-saying, “Slang.”
“We’ll miss you,” Dean told me. “Even when you were a dick.”
“Perhaps that’s the solution,” Kali said.
“Cas being a dick? I don’t think him copping an attitude will save his ass.”
“Leave the room so the grownups can talk.”
“Dean,” Bobby said.
“You, too,” Kali told him.
“Maybe we should use small words so they understand,” Gabriel said.
“Oh you’re loving this,” Dean said to him.
“Atropos does not die,” Kali said, looking closer at me from where she stands. She is examining me, peering at all of me.
“Or at least not easily,” Dean said. “Or with trickery.”
“Never underestimate trickery,” Gabriel said. “Baldur and Hod did.”
“You were saying?” Bobby asked.
“After being so rudely destroyed, Gabriel was reborn, much as…” Kali said, trailing off as she walked over to where I am still sitting. She grabbed me by my throat and lifted me, turning in a slow circle.
“I don’t think candling works on angels,” Bobby said.
Kali let go, which made me land on my feet and fall back against Sam and Dean, who nearly fell over as they caught and kept me on my feet. “Interesting.”
“Something you wanna share with the class?” Dean asked her.
“It may have already happened. He has no vessel.”
“Of course I do,” I tell her. “His name is Jimmy Novak.”
“As I observe of you, Jimmy Novak was spread across the landscape, and then you were reconstituted. Your energy molded reality to look and act like an angel in a vessel. Difficult enough for an angel to wrap fetal flesh around itself and grow through a lifetime.”
“Anna,” Dean and I said at the same time. How could I not have realized this before? Was I truly so desperate to believe that my Father had reassembled my vessel and myself? Yes, yes I was. And later, I never gave it a second’s thought.
“Difficult is not impossible.”
“So this reality-mold is even harder still, that’s what you’re saying,” Sam said.
Kali nodded. “Even the Highest Gods Of All need lots of time to get it working correctly.”
“Anyone you know who doesn’t need much time?” Dean asked. “Besides Cas.”
“So thanks to him having bad sex with her the once, Cas here’s now unkillable?”
“If anyone could, the Fates would be the ones capable of it.”
“Oh, great. So it’s his last day after all.”
Rationalizing as only humans can, Sam said, “Cas shouldn’t have tried to open Purgatory.”
“Riiight,” Gabriel said. “Have you ever met Rafael, either of you? ‘Cause I have.”
“So have we.”
“And it never occurred to you that you were looking at the one angel more gung-ho for a world-tearing millennial fight with Lucifer, than even Michael?”
“Lucifer and Michael were in Hell’s Cage,” Dean said.
“Exactly, and it’s not like monkeys can pop open the Cage. Oh wait, you did - twice.”
“A sarcastic angel - who’d a thunk it?” Bobby quipped.
“Lillith began opening the seals,” said Atropos, abruptly and deliberately present. Her business suit was just as neat and tidy as the last time the Winchesters had seen her. “An action leading to the release of Lucifer.”
“Exactly,” Dean said.
“An action which only became fated after Sam here refused his original role as leader of a demonic faction for their civil war.”
“You’re saying what’s happened to Castiel is - is my fault?” Sam asked her.
Atropos looked at Sam like anyone would look at one of those bugs that mimic bird poo. “Yes,” she said. “Your refusal made the civil war a Heavenly matter instead.”
“So when you or anybody else says something’s going to happen, that it’s fate,” Dean said, “you admit there’s a choice.”
Kali sighed and put one hand over her own eyes.
“Of course there is a choice,” Fate said to Dean. “In the same way that you have the choice, when driving on a highway, to turn in any direction. Except at certain junctures, you can’t go too far to either side.”
“’Cause then you go splat.”
“Near enough. Now be silent, all of you,” she said, and strode over to me.
I wasn’t the only one staring at Fate’s legs.
“I came,” Atropos said to me when she was standing before me. “It wouldn’t have been fair doing otherwise.”
Sam nearly choked on a ‘since when do you care about fair?’ that never left his throat.
But she heard the thought being formed. “I care. And because I care, therefore it is fair,” caressing my cheek.
“Impeccable logic,” Kali said dryly. “Where lower things are concerned.”
“You say the sweetest things, muffin,” Gabriel replied.
“Atropos,” I said.
“Yes?” Atropos asked.
“I’m sorry,” and I almost collapsed again in an effort to get to my knees. “My error, my pride, my hubris. They got in the way, kept me from realizing that You are the greatest.”
“You will be remembered, Castiel,” she said. “I and My Sisters will certainly remember you,” and plucked something from Cas’ forehead.
He collapsed into a boneless heap, devoid of life and other energies.
Everyone stayed where they were, silently, for a while longer. Fear of me, respect for Castiel, uncertain what to do now.
I always know what to do. It isn’t faith, because I know it as a certainty within myself. “Will you be using an ossuary for his remains?” I asked the others. “Cremation? Burial?” Every god and power must kneel...I and My Sisters can no more permit an exception, than We can permit Ourselves to take even a hint of revenge.
“I was thinking maybe throw him in the sky,” Gabriel said. “There enough left of ol’ Castiel for a constellation, or just an asterism?”
“We’ll see to him,” Bobby tells me. “It’ll be all respectful.”
“Good,” I said. If it isn’t, I know whose lifeline to cut next.
“There anything you want to do?” Dean asks me.
“I have my memories of Castiel. That is enough,” and I was gone from that place.