An Appreciation for the Sun (1 of 4)

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For this prompt, I enlisted the help of @nightmares06 for the role of Castiel. I’m not very good at writing characters that I didn’t create, but this prompt was so cute that I couldn’t just dismiss it out of hand. (X)


The sun neared its zenith when Rischa managed to excuse herself from lessons. While she stretched her wings luxuriously on the wide balcony of the cottonwood tree, with bars of sunlight bathing the village in light in front of her, Rischa got a notion in her head. She knew without a doubt that if Bowman were there, he’d have the same feeling about the day.

It was a good day for flying.

Bowman was probably already doing exactly that somewhere out in the woods. Rischa stepped over the side of the balcony, her dainty wings spreading wide to carry her on the breeze. She decided she would explore, too, like Bowman did.

She was twelve, now, after all. Rischa might not fly much farther than the usual patrol distance most of the time, but her cousin knew the woods better than anyone. He hadn’t mentioned any dangers nearby.

After many days spent honing her gifts in the cottonwood with the ever wise and patient Cerul, everything blended together. Rischa drifted past the pine tree where she lived with her mama and daddy and Bowman, crossing over the stream and out into the woods. She hummed to herself as she banked upwards, cutting through sunbeams here and there as she set her sights on exploring.

Bowman does this all the time and he’s always happy when he returns, she thought. Time to see what the fuss is about.

~~~

The beauty of the world surrounded him.

The pristine sands of the desert. The white shine of bone bleached for years upon years. A lizard skittered by, searching for shelter as the sun beat mercilessly down, ripples of heat bending the horizon. A steady wind whipped up, sending sparkling particles into a dusty whirl before settling back down. His skin stung at the feeling, and it was good.

With a flap of astral wings and the ripple of a mirage, he was gone.

The ocean stretched out in all directions. A small island, lost in the endless blue ocean, stood on its own. A lonely seagull called out at the darkening sky above. It had washed up ashore a year back, and found a place to survive.

But no way home.

The water was cool against his hand as he dipped on in. Seaweed wavered in the reflective pool and a fish slipped out for a brief flash to see if the new intruder was food.

Long strides carried him across the island, observing the wildlife that had never seen a human before. The flesh of his vessel allowed him to experience it all in a way he hadn’t known in over a millennium.

Is this what Gabriel meant when he told us about the world?

It was a puzzle to mull over as memories prodded at his mind.

Did I fail your test?

I’d make the same call

Between one step and the next, he was gone. The lonely seagull called out and the cry of its plight fell upon deaf ears.

I have questions. I have doubts.

A field stretched out before him, grassy stalks waving in the breeze. It was a peaceful, protected forest. The sun shone down from above, the warm rays more welcoming than the harsh sun of the desert and the deserted island. The grass parted before his path and he brushed a hand over the green stalks.

He could feel it.

Millennia of watching and waiting had made him forget the pleasures of the flesh. The feel of a breeze against his cheek and the caress of the water against his hand. The stinging pain of the sand.

Green eyes stared back at him from his memory, intent and distrusting. They’d given the man no reason to trust, after all. Only ultimatums and decrees.

What am I fighting for, if not them?

But that thought wasn’t complete. There was something missing. A link, an explanation for why they fought so desperately. For why he fought, dedicated his existence to. Something beyond the orders left by his Father.

And so Castiel, Angel of the Lord, walked through the forest to see his Father’s Creation through mortal eyes.

The tan trenchcoat stood out in the mottled greens like a pit viper among hamsters. In the back of his mind, his duties called. He could feel the location of the Winchesters at all times, no matter how far he traveled in his search. The constant murmur of voices in the back of his mind was pushed to a mere whisper. If anyone needed to talk to him, they would do it directly. He did not need to know everything. Uriel’s voice especially ground out a dissonant tone that echoed along the waves of their song.

I am not here to judge you, Dean.

But what was he on earth for? Why did he have doubts?

The noontime sun warmed him from above even as he wrestled with the doubts that snuck up inside him.

~~~

The sunlight warmed the many trees of Wellwood and filtered between their branches to the foliage-littered floor below. The green and gold hues gave the shade beneath the trees a healthy, happy look. Birds chattered at one another and squirrels chased each other back and forth.

The morning dew had long since dried in the hot sunlight, leaving the grass and leaves without the jewel-like sparkle of a million drops of water. They were no less beautiful. They gleamed with their vibrant greens, practically glowing in the sunlight as if lit from within.

Scents of pine and maple mixed with that of the rain soaked earth. The ground was soft and springy and the dappled sun danced across it. Flowers opened their colorful faces to the day, joyously reaching upwards.

Rischa landed among a bed of fragrant wildflowers, gracefully tucking her wings to her back while her shoes settled on the mossy forest floor. The flowers and the grass both stood taller than her, and they ringed her vision when she peered straight up. Rischa’s eyes shone like liquid gold as the sun warmed her face.

It truly was a gorgeous day, and Rischa was glad she’d taken the chance to get out and enjoy it. She knew well that she’d need to return to her lessons tomorrow, but for now, her companions were the wildflowers and the butterflies that floated around them.

Rischa held her arms out to the sides, her fingers splayed wide, and laughed. The sun on her skin and the breeze tousling her wings and the flowing fabric of her tunic sent a thrum of energy through her.

She was no stranger to the feeling. It was life and the simple beauty of it. Rischa knew better than almost anyone how truly amazing the magic of life was. Her connection with the Spirit ensured it.

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