Title: Castiel in the shadow of Leviathan.
(crossposted to my LJ and to the Castielfest community)
Beta: babnol. Thanks for the read-over.
Prompt: the song Love your memory, the photograph here, and Cas/Anna (with hints of both of them with Dean)
Summary: On returning to Heaven, Castiel is measured for a new job: that of God’s Regent. But all he wants is Anna.
Characters: Castiel, Leviathan, Anna; mention of Dean, Lisa,
Word count: 1,561.
Spoilers: The Kids Are Alright, Hammer of the Gods, Swan Song,
Disclaimer: All canon characters are property of the scriptwriters, who, according to the finale, are GOD. Leviathan is property of G-D. All original characters are mine.
In Heaven, there were two pastures. One was the fenced enclosure which had contained Leviathan for so long. The other was the throne room of God.
On returning to Heaven, Castiel had been informed his presence was requested in the second pasture. It was plain to Cass' every sense that, even in His absence, this room has not gone to seed, to pot, or any other metaphor for ruin.
Castiel walked through the endless tallgrass prairie, lost in thought. It would be incredibly easy to tuck in his wings and dive down to Earth, have dinner with Dean and Lisa, maybe bash in some demonic heads while he's on the planet. It would be just as easy to bacchus himself here in the throne room.
"Castiel," came a voice, its owner imperceptible and not about to reveal itself.
So Cas focused on the voice itself, dissecting it. Unique, but not God, Cas noted. There were exceedingly few unique things in Heaven, which made it an absurdly easy list to consider. The sheer level of power in the voice, which left only one candidate as to whom it could be: "Leviathan," Castiel said.
"Yes," It said.
"How did you get out?"
"The door may swing both ways, but the Gate may only be unlocked from the outside."
"Where are you?" Cas asked.
Wind rustled the tops of the green and verdant stalks.
"No, you're not," Castiel said, remembering elementary theology.
"True," Leviathan remarked, still not visible. Only audible. "I am, however, where I need to be. As are you."
"You cannot return to the barracks, Castiel," Leviathan said.
"Who granted you authority over me?" Castiel asked. Or in Dean-speak, who's going to stop me - you?
"The Mandate Of Heaven."
"No." Not possible.
"In G-D's absence, the Archangels and the Thrones held an uneasy truce. When there were no more Archangels in Heaven, I was asked to stop the slaughter."
All bow before the One who rules Heaven...that is how it has always been. "I will not bow before you," Cas said.
Overhead, thunder rumbled; underfoot, a mild tremor in the earth. "I would not want you to."
Cas blinked, unsure what game It was playing.
"I prefer you out in pasture."
"In your cage?" Castiel asked, hearing nothing, not even a breeze anymore. Everything was perfect stillness, utter crystalline peace.
The next moment, Castiel was on his back, wheat stalks hard under him, the toes of Leviathan pinning Cas down. Even the Archangels, when they attacked, took long enough that your body realized it was being bowled over...with Leviathan, no such grace existed.
"Where is your heart?" Leviathan asked with a voice as unyielding as the center of Antarctica, and just as coldly lethal. Its armored body was surrounded by a permanent cloud of steam...which meant It was restraining Itself immensely, both in form and in not crushing Castiel underfoot.
"In my throat, so I may speak the truth," Castiel said, knowing answers like that by rote.
"What of your emotions? You have been on Earth a very long time."
...where I've been fighting alongside Dean. Where I was seeing Anna. Never said farewell to her. "I have emotion enough to speak - without emotion, angels cannot war."
"True," Leviathan said approvingly, and turned one turreted eye to look down on Castiel, who instinctively froze the way a termite would, if the termite was trapped in the open and knew that the approaching sneaker was its death.
The eye turned away, permitting Cas to breathe once more.
"And of thought?" Leviathan asked. "Do you adhere only after consideration? Weighted, measured, careful examination, Castiel?"
Duty vs. independence, Cas knew. Anna was obedient... as was I, more than once. So much in common... “I am steadfast.”
"To whom do you have loyalty?" Leviathan roared at Castiel, Its breath hot with invulnerability and the message you are small hitting Cas hard.
"No one," Cas said. That was a trick question. Loyalty was a human thing.
"Good. To whom do you have obedience?"
"To what end did you quest, for what aim?" Leviathan asked, and like a python's coils, Its toes clamped tighter with Castiel's reaction to the question.
A trap, that's what this is, Cas knew. You don't quest for the Giver Of Orders, you obeyed. He considered a human tactic: "The Archangels were plotting, and -"
"They always plot," Leviathan interrupted, then relaxed Its grip and Its stance. "What law of the physical universe is obeyed by all save for the G-DS ?"
Castiel opened his mouth - and found Leviathan was gone. Just in case, though, Cas waited a minute before standing up - this might be another trap - looked around, and breathed, "Anna." The questions had hit home, which was their point; but they had also struck another part of Cas.
Anna, as luminescent and deadly as glass confetti in a midday explosion.
Anna, lord of the barrack. Commanding.
Anna, calm and poised when not unleashing wrath.
Castiel recalled the satiation of working under Anna. Satiation, joy, completeness. By obeying her, he had been instrumental in carrying out God's wrath. A place for everything and everything in its place - and his was at her beck.
Anna who fell. Longing.
Her Fall had fractured Castiel, paving the way for the attitude known as Cas. Back then, he had done what he was doing now: clinging to the memory of Anna, working in the way which fit what he knew Anna liked and would do.
Anna, who was welcomed back into the Archangels' Heaven.
Anna, who, upon her return to Earth, nearly wiped out the Winchesters. Obedient.
Anna, whose situation bore as many parallels with Castiel's own experience, as there were differences between them.
He had taken Dean back in time, and more than once since then, Cas has thanked Him (though He is absent) that Cas had been too ill and weak to take sides. Cas didn't trust himself to as much as wager which side he would have been on - Michael's or Anna's or Dean's. Duty or obedience or familiarity.
Dean had told Cas later that Anna had compared angelic perfection to a marble statue. But even humans could see nobility in a statue if it were crafted finely enough. And Anna was a cut above, always so.
Expressions again. And, by necessity, human ones. We were two ships in the night, only worse. When one of us has an emotional repertoire, the other lacks it. At least she slept with Dean and enjoyed that.
"One detail, Castiel," Leviathan said, once more unseen - Cas didn't mind. "You are now regent of Heaven in perpetuity until and unless G-D returns. Do what you will; I shall enforce your decrees."
Right before her Fall, Anna had gotten a piece of news that had never been revealed to the barracks. Cas empathized with the entirely human action, for he did the same thing: he bolted right out of there. Fled Heaven entirely, zipping across the Earth's sky like an incoming piece of orbital hardware.
His course was eastwards, and would have blinded anyone else with the rising - midday - setting sun. The sun... which brought its own problems.
Once, Heaven had been a flat plain with a river running through it. Back then, the Sun God Aten had ruled it. God had defeated Aten and turned the plain into a mountain, and was then forced by the gods to keep Aten as an object lesson in intertheological relations. I suppose this makes Aten my responsibility now, Cas thought to himself. My choice what to do with Him.
Cas landed on a sturdy branch, sensing wards and sensors and traps across the backyard's ground and throughout the porch. He looked through the windows and watched Dean Winchester's attempts at domesticity.
Anyone else might well have laughed. Castiel was envious.
Very unfair, Dean, Cas thought to himself, watching them. Changed me enough that I now want. Back in the old days, Castiel knew, he could have made the doors open so he might walk in. Right now, he was tempted to go for the liquor cabinet.
After a while, Castiel told himself, "He's moved on. I need to do the same." I will never forget Anna. And I will visit Dean time and again. But for right now, there was one place he had to go.
Castiel rocketed up without disturbing a leaf of his surroundings, soaring to and into Heaven, walking only when he was just shy of the throne room.
It was only when Castiel returned to the throne room of Heaven, that he realized what the answer was to the question, and he knew the answer because he saw Anna lying on the gentle slope of the hillside.
Matter can never be created or destroyed, Cas recalled. The same for information. Only God or the gods can violate that constant An Archangel, even Lucifer...cannot. He only destroyed her.
And Leviathan reconstructed her.
Cas swooped over to Anna, landing close by.
Her eyes were already open, and she was propped on one elbow. "I think we need to talk," she said, rising to lean on one hand.
Castiel nodded. "Yes. Talking would be good."
And they chuckled, because that was a very Dean thing to say. And that was a good start.