Bigger Than You And IAuthor:
Supernatural/Terminator: Sarah Connor ChroniclesCharacters:
John Connor; CastielRating:
Post 2nd season SCC, Post 4th season SPN, goes AU for 5Warnings:
Some religious introspectionDisclaimer:
Supernatural and Terminator belong to their respective creators.A/N:
I'd like to thank dhark_charlotte. If it weren't for her and her whip cracking and nagging, I would not get anything done when it comes to writing! She's my cheerleader, my muse and my best friend! Thank you, hon! And thank you for the awesome beta job!Summary:
The Lord works in mysterious ways...
The tree was a surprise. He definitely wasn't expecting it and it wasn't something that he was used to seeing after he had jumped forward with Catherine Weaver. Tripping over its roots had been an additional surprise. John was about to stand up and continue through the softly falling snow when the unmistakable sound of an HK sounded through the night. He dropped back down to his belly, striving to become one with the debris and snow on the ground to escape notice. Holding his breath, John kept a careful ear out and followed the progress of the HK with hearing alone. He didn't allow himself to relax until the sound had completely faded away and the nocturnal activity of the rats and various other night creatures made their way back out into the darkness.
Eyeing the small sapling, John pondered how nature always managed to find a way to carry on. As he stood, his gaze traveled the length of its roots as they grew every which way across the ground. Slinging his rifle back up on his shoulder, he turned to continue on but stopped when his eyes fell on a bit of concrete showing in the dim light. It was out of place in all of the undergrowth. Frowning, he stepped forward carefully, feeling his way through the underbrush and discovered that the concrete was the door to a bunker hidden away from obvious view. Chipped and cracked, the cement had seen better days and was obviously from before the war with the machines had started. Following the edges, John considered the possibility that it was an old bomb shelter.
Glancing up into the night sky, he shook the snow out of his eyes and he realized that it had started falling more heavily during the time he had waited out the HK. Looking back to the heavy concrete door of the bomb shelter and decided that if he was in there, he was at least out of sight and out of the cold and wet. Sighing, he picked his way through the growth and reached for the iron handle of the door and started throwing his weight into it, making it budge for the first time in several decades. Grating and grinding, at first it didn't want to move, and then just as suddenly in a loud groaning boom, gave way under his weight and swung open. Being completely unprepared for the quick change in resistance, John fell forwards and tumbled in to the shelter, landing in an undignified lump of clothes, limbs and weapons in the middle of the room.
Struggling up to a kneeling position, he glanced around and quickly realized that the underground room wasn't pitch black. There was a flickering light coming from somewhere behind him. In one fluid motion, he grabbed his rifle, rolled and brought the weapon up to bear on whatever possible threat could be behind him. However, after allowing a moment for the situation to register, John lowered the weapon slightly and gaped at what the light revealed. No hunk of metal was preparing to beat him into a bloody pulp and win the war against humankind. There was no Harvester hunting for humans to work in the camps.
There was, however, a man. Kneeling in a ring of brightly burning fire.
Shaking his head slightly, half convinced that maybe his fall could have caused a concussion; John lowered the rifle fully when he saw that the man was still kneeling and not moving. He almost looked as if he were in prayer; not that John had a lot of faith in what he deemed to be an effort in futility. If prayer actually worked, then his mother would have single-handedly stopped Judgment Day. But this man... he looked peaceful in his prayer, hands lightly clasped in front of him.
Sensing no ill will from the man in front of him, John slowly slung his rifle onto his shoulder and took a hesitant step forward toward the man, stopping when the man slowly opened his eyes and quietly, with little effort, stood to his full height. Heart pounding loudly in his ears, the silence and stillness of the man elicited a sudden fearful thought. Only metal had the ability for that level of silence and he was hard pressed to see if the man was actually breathing or not. Just as a shiver of fear made its way down his spine and his hand reached for the rifle, the man held out a hand, palm up, almost as if in supplication.
Taking a slight step back, John swallowed deeply and cleared his throat. "Who are you?" he asked, hand coming up and resting on the heavy barrel of the rifle. The weight was a comfort.
"I am Castiel." The man replied, staring intently at John with unblinking eyes.
The stillness was unnerving. "What are you?"
Castiel's eyes narrowed slightly and his head tilted, almost frighteningly reminiscent of Cameron. "I am not sure I understand the question."
John looked at the brightly burning ring of fire and then back at Castiel. "How long have you been here?"
Castiel looked around the room and then back at John. "What is the date?"
Frowning, John replied, "2026. December. It's almost Christmas, actually. Not that holidays are observed much these days."
Castiel looked back at him, his eyes widening slightly. All of John's time with Cameron had taught him how to read the slightest change in body language. He could tell that the man was surprised by the information. "Why? How long have you been here?"
John watched as Castiel began pacing in his confined space. What was keeping him within the ring of fire?
"What has happened? I have been unable to sense anything other than machines nearby in decades."
It was John's turn to widen his eyes slightly. Decades? The man didn't look old enough to have been here for decades. The room was completely bare of anything but dust, the fire and the man. He stepped back again, raising his rifle ever so slightly. No human could live without food or water. "What are you?"
Castiel stopped pacing and faced him, tilting his head slightly. "I do not think you would believe me."
"Try me." John challenged in a flat voice.
"I am an angel of the Lord."
He certainly hadn't been expecting that answer. Stupefied, John stared at Castiel in silence. A few moments passed before he could form words properly. "I'm sorry. What?"
"I said that I am an angel of the Lord." Castiel paused for a moment, closed his eyes and when he reopened them, John could see a slight desperation. "What has happened out in the world?"
"Well, if you're an angel, don't you know?" John deadpanned.
Castiel leveled a look at him that fully stated what the 'angel' thought of the question.
"It's a valid question." John stated. Looking more closely at the fire, John asked the question that had been nagging at him. "If you've been here for decades
," his emphasis on the word indicating how he felt about that bit of information, "then how is it that the fire is still burning?"
Castiel sighed. "It is Holy Fire." He stated it in a tone that implied John should have known this.
"Oh, well. That explains everything then." John said; sarcasm heavy in his voice.
"It is used to trap angels in place indefinitely."
"Huh. OK..." John then asked the next logical question in this illogical situation. "So if it's used to trap angels, then what did you do to end up in it?"
"I rebelled." Stated flatly, John could tell that this was a sensitive subject for Castiel.
"Yes." Castiel replied.
"OK... which brings up the next question: you rebelled from what, exactly?" John was having a hard time accepting what was being said.
"When the Archangels said that the Lord was abandoning us, I no longer submitted to their authority. I went to look for Him."
John snorted. "Well, you obviously were on the wrong side of that one weren't you?"
Castiel looked at him, puzzled. "What do you mean?"
John gestured to the area at large. "Everything's gone, man! The machines destroyed all of it! Nuclear bombs, biological weapons... and what they didn't destroy that way, they hunted down and killed! If God were really around, do you think this would have happened?" John was breathing heavily, angered at the whole concept that a higher power could have any impact on what had happened.
Castiel's eyes fell as John trailed off. "Then we failed."
"Wow! You think?" John stalked over and dropped his bedroll in a corner and then turned back to face Castiel again. "You never said why you were trapped here?" He demanded, gesturing to the fire.
"I went to find God. I found Lucifer instead."
John thought his head was going to explode. "Lucifer?"
"As in the Devil?" John clarified.
Again, Castiel nodded.
He couldn't help it. The absurdity of it all was just too much. He started cracking up, laughing in a slightly maniacal way. Angels, God, the Devil, Holy Fire... yeah. What next? The Four Horsemen? Apocalypse? Oh wait... that had already happened.
Walking over to the fire, John squatted and examined it. "What do I need to do to get it to go out?"
Castiel looked at him for a moment and then asked, "Why would you want it to?"
John smirked. "No need for you to stay in there now. Mankind is on the brink of extinction. I'm pretty sure whatever reason you were trapped here is no longer valid."
Silence met his statement and John glanced up and saw Castiel staring at him, blue eyes steady and intense. "How do I get you out?"
"You must have faith as you break the seal." Castiel said as he pointed to the markings that were barely discernible through the flames.
"Faith, huh?" John inspected the drawings. "That might be a problem."
"One must always have faith." Castiel said in a quiet voice.
John only raised an eyebrow in response. Taking a deep breath, John had a flash of a memory. He was just a boy, barely more than seven and he had found his mother crying in the bathroom. When he asked her what was wrong, she had dropped to her knees and gathered him up in her arms and told him in a quiet voice full of conviction, "John, you will save them all. Kyle believed it. We are making your fate, so you can help us make ours."
Looking up, John caught Castiel's gaze and reached out, through the flames with his hand and swept it through the markings, breaking the lines drawn there. Immediately, the fire went out, casting the room into darkness.
Standing up, John kept his gaze on Castiel as the man stepped out of the circle.
"You have more faith than you think, John Connor."
John started in surprise. "How do you know my name?"
Castiel smiled and then raised his fingers to John's forehead. "You must keep to the path you are on. It is righteous and true. And you must remember; God has not abandoned you. He is working through you."
John blinked in surprise and when he opened his eyes, he was alone in the room. Turning in a circle, glancing frantically around, he saw no sign of the man that he had just released from the fire. Looking back where the circle had been, he could see the strange markings that had been the basis of the Holy Fire. Seeing something out of the corner of his eye, he quickly turned his head and saw something move on the floor in the darkness. Walking over to it, he reached down and picked it up, surprise working its way through him.
In his hand, he held a perfect black feather.-END-