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Ethereal

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Story

Summary: When the angels made contingency plans

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Multiple PairingsShulikFR152146,8491915337,2472 Oct 1017 Sep 11No

20

Then.


Remiel stood at the edge of Heaven alone, her wings hanging loosely down her back as she watched the skies rage with bruising purples and evanescent oranges, swirling, mixing as the universe tried to figure out a way to re size its vast boundaries in order to fit in their master’s new creation.

“It’s beautiful, is it not?” she cocked her head, looking over her shoulder at Balthazar who silently vowed to surprise her one day, despite the fact that she could probably sense Lucifer himself coming upon her.

Balthazar cleared his throat, arrested by the sight presented to him, a rare sight that almost no angel had the privilege of seeing.

Remiel stood barefoot, clad in only a white sheath that fluttered around her body in the gentle breeze always present at Heaven’s meadows. Her hair was down, loose around her shoulders- a gloriously golden cascade of light. Stripped of her usual soldier’s uniform, she looked oddly vulnerable, soft.

Balthazar lifted his hand to his chest, where warmth was spilling all through him, like light dancing through water, penetrating all of his being, diffusing his grace with feeling.

He felt like he couldn’t move for a moment, frozen as he was by the sheer beauty of his superior- like a fool on the precipice of something great, something terrible, forbidden.

“Bal?” Remiel frowned and Balthazar shook his head, stepped forward, stepped away from his thoughts for the moment.

“What is?” he rubbed his neck, trying to bring back some of the feeling he had first approached her. Cool, levelheadedness, not this foolish stammering- like he was first out of basic training… Balthazar flushed again, remembering suddenly who it was exactly who was responsible for his basic training.

“This creation,” Remiel stepped closer to him, eyes shining even more than usual- with twice of her energy, twice of her love, “this new, beautiful world that Father’s created. Isn’t it beautiful Balthazar? Can’t you see it? See it’s glory?”

The mass of swirling fire and gas was beautiful to be sure, full of a rainbow of colors that made Balthazar’s skin itch, his Grace hum with the proof of his Father’s mastery. His inconceivable brilliance.

It was the underlying current of possibility that was the true thing of beauty though, that small thread running beneath their awareness- of things to come, the future, bright and sharp and new.

“Lucifer doesn’t agree with you,” Balthazar said out-loud, because he wasn’t one for keeping secrets, or keeping quiet when the moment demanded it.

Remiel sighed deeply, bowing her bright golden head, “I know…” She dug into the soft ground of the constructed earth with her toe, watching as the dust clung to her flesh.

Balthazar waited, knowing that she must have had something else to say if the contemplative look on her features was any indication.

Finally, Remiel took a deep breath and said the words in one big rush, like a revelation or a confession almost- “I’m scared for him, Bal. I’m scared that he’s changing and we don’t know whether it’s for the better or worse…” She paused and soldiered on, “and I don’t know whether anything can stop him anymore.”

Balthazar felt surprised at that. He raised an eyebrow, “Raguel?”

Remiel turned to face him fully then, her Grace seeping through her eyes- bright and effervescent and so pure that it almost hurt Balthazar to look at her directly. “I’m scared for her most of all,” she whispered.




++++++

Now.

“Have you always been this slow?” Buffy stepped around a rocky protrusion and shook her head. “Cause I remember you being a lot faster.”

Balthazar glared at her back, but lifted his hand once more- simultaneously dimming her perception of the reality around him and killing another one of the creations that Remiel had left down here to guard her most valuable possession when she fell.

Apparently, her angelic incarnation had quite the imagination- Balthazar snorted and flicked his fingers, blasting away a shadow demon before it could even attract Buffy’s attention.

“And furthermore,” Buffy yelled up ahead, “do we even know what it looks like?” She clambered over some rocks, supernaturally graceful, flitting like a butterfly around the dangers surrounding them, “how will we know?”

Balthazar took a quick moment to check on Buffy’s aura, comforted by the familiar heavy golden glow of it. It was uninterrupted, pulsing in a steady rhythm that was as reassuring to him now as it had been millennia ago. Even if she didn’t remember most of their history, Balthazar was comforted by the knowledge that deep within- she was still the being that he had once felt closer to than anyone else in Heaven.

His thoughts were interrupted by Buffy’s exclamation.

“Bal I see it! I see it!” she whooped in joy and began running in earnest now, vaulting over the obstacles in her way while Balthazar picked up the speed on his little path of demon destruction.

“That’s great love,” he called, “you just go do yout thing,” he narrowed his eyes as a particularly vicious looking bugger, all heavy smoke and hellfire eyes popped behind her, “and I’ll be rightthere,” he finished and cracked his neck.

Balthazar might never have been an archangel, but once upon a time- before he had allowed himself to slip in the ranks to below Castiel, who was a scholar first and a warrior second- once upon a time, Balthazar had known the call of blood like it was the thrumming of his own power within him.

Unclean,” the thing hissed, a forked tongue lashing out against the air, “coming in here, spoiling everything with your fire.” It looked angry and terrified at the same time, like an animal defending its territory against an intruder.

“Technically,” Balthazar smiled and straightened his wings, feeling the gloriously heavy weight settle on his back, “we were here first.”

The demon shrieked and shuddered, recoiling sharply from the brilliance of Balthazar’s unfurled grace.

Up ahead, Buffy fell to her knees, enraptured by the sight of a ten feet tall stone pillar- a basin filled with an opalescent light, spilling over its edges was nestled on the very top.



+++++



“What are you doing?” Faith stood in the grey, empty street, staring at the rows upon rows of Reapers- all poised and still like living, or almost living statues.

The air moved in a familiar pattern behind her, a barely there flutter of wings and the brief tinge of ozone in her nostrils.

“You know what I’m doing,” Lucifer said, that same, calmly infuriating tone of his that always made Faith want to break the closest window.

“You’ve developed a lot of rage,” he observed, looking at her with interest, “and I should imagine that breaking windows would not be conducive to,” he didn’t disguise the sneer, “blending in..”

“First things first,” Faith raised a finger, “stop reading my goddamn mind.”

She raised a second one, “and second, try to at least sound somewhat enthusiastic about my life choices, could you?”

Lucifer shook his head, a dark smile curling his lips, “oh Raguel, how I’ve missed your sense of humor all this time.”

“It’s Faith,” she retorted automatically and shivered, feeling the Reaper cold leaching all warmth from her body. She wrapped her arms around herself, wishing that she had grabbed something warmer than her jean jacket before coming.

As soon as she felt him settle in one location, Faith knew that it was time to move. Both her and Gabriel had been feeling the portents for a while now, feeling Lucifer gathering his forces- that hot, heavy headiness of his power, centralized in one location- it was like a map drawn in fluorescent marker, ’Come find me, I’m right here!

“Why did you not complete the ritual?” something in Lucifer’s voice made her turn, look at him.

He looked like he always did, warm and distant at the same time- like a walking thunderstorm, nothing new there. But this time, there was something strange in his gaze that made her pause-

“I’m alright the way I am,” she shrugged in return. If he wasn’t opening his cards to her yet, why should she?

“Clearly,” Lucifer was beginning to sound annoyed, a god-like being peeved at her lack of intelligence, “that’s not true.” He sneered again, “you’re cold, like a human, like one of them.”

“Alright, calm down -killer,” Faith rolled her eyes and eyed him warily, “how long until your vessel gives out?”

“I’m alright the way I am,” Lucifer parroted her earlier words and then he smiled, a sharp, broken gesture that made something freeze within her, “but I’ll be better once Sam Winchester gives in to destiny.”

“Lucifer,” Faith took a step closer to him, “stop it,” she struggled, “you know we’re working on it. Leave it, leave the Winchesters be.”

“Ah,” he spread his arms, a wide mocking gesture that was eerily reminiscent of all the times that she had seen him spread his wings, “but it has been preordained this way from the very beginning, my dear sister.”

He cocked his head, “a pair of brothers for a pair of brothers, until the very end... Dad made us, he made Heaven- he even made the Winchesters, if it wasn’t meant to be- don’t you think he would have stopped me before I could get here?...”

Faith didn’t want to give anything away, but she couldn’t stop herself from flinching in time.

“It’s interesting,” Lucifer began walking around her while she stood still, keeping an even gaze on his movements, “how you’re more scared of Michael- Heaven’s greatest protector, than you are of me- dad’s greatest enemy.”

“I’m not scared of any of you,” Faith felt her words grow hot with anger, pissed off that thousands of years later- Lucifer was still comparing himself to Michael. Even, apparently, as to who was the scarier Big Bad.

“I’m scared for you,” she frowned, “there’s a difference.”

You shouldn’t be,” Lucifer looked away then, gaze appreciative as he looked at the reapers all waiting.

Somewhere, Faith could feel them, she knew that his biggest lieutenants were hiding in the shadows. She could feel their filth, like black oil stains on her skin- and she was, pathetically, a little grateful to Lucifer for sparing her the usual demon bullshit and coming to deal with her alone.

All of a sudden, Lucifer changed the subject- “Your friends,” he said pleasantly, like he was telling her about the weather, “they’re gathering tonight, at that legless hunter’s house- the one you’ve all been staying at.”

“Good to know that Bobby’s wards work as well as he swears,” Faith snorted.

“They’re coming to kill me tomorrow,” Lucifer added nonchalantly and threw a glance at her, that same, unnamed emotion from earlier present again.

“They won’t,” Faith shook her head, resolve hardening, “I won’t let them-“

Lucifer smirked triumphant.

“But I won’t let you hurt them either,” Faith finished and began buttoning up her jacket, settling in for the long haul, “I’m waiting with you. I’m going to make sure that you don’t do anything that we’ll both regret even more.”

“Oh Raguel,” Lucifer shook his head fondly and reached out, fingers touching her palm- “trying to help me, even after all these years.”

“Yeah, well-“Faith shrugged, and wrapped her fingers around his hand- “habit’s a bitch to break.”

“Tell me about it,” Lucifer laughed and held on.
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