An Appreciation for the Sun (4 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)


“Every creature has its place,” Castiel said. “A hummingbird will never grow the size of a bear.” He regarded the tiny sprite with unblinking curiosity. Such a fragile creature, yet so welcoming. Humans were suspicious by nature, even of each other. Not once had Castiel managed to truly gain Dean Winchester’s confidence. Every move he made just seemed to make the hunter more wary of him.

“Are there more like you?” Castiel asked. “In other places?” He had to wonder if he should warn his brothers and sisters of these peaceful people. Angels could be heavy handed on occasion.

Rischa smiled and nodded, thinking nothing of revealing others to Castiel. She got a strong feeling that she could trust him not to bring them to harm. It could have been simple intuition, or her growing used to the readings she could get from him. It could even be the Spirit Herself telling her something about him, but Rischa trusted him.

“I’m sure they’re all over,” she answered, thinking of what she knew of the other sprites. “There’s other kinds of sprites, too. The Spirits made us and we do our best to take care of everything. Us wood sprites take care of the plants and things, and, um, I think water sprites try to keep water clean!”

Castiel pursed his lips as he thought that over. “So you are caretakers,” he surmised. “Guardians of your habitat. My people do not live on earth, but we have our own duty, given by our Father at the time of Creation. We are to guard over mankind, watching for the end of days. And we are…” He trailed off, remembering his conundrum from earlier that very day.

Fighting for humans while fighting against humans. Angels sent to destroy entire towns while claiming to be protectors. Dean and Sam digging their heels in and putting their lives on the line to protect a town of humans against Uriel’s wrath.

“Protectors,” Castiel finished, firming his own conviction. “Helping those who can’t help themselves.”

Rischa beamed at him. “Oh, that’s very good of you, Castiel,” she told him. “Thank you. I’m sure you work very hard.” Rischa couldn’t tell yet what Castiel even was, but she was getting a sense that, though he looked human, there was a lot more to him. That part of him was what made him so incomprehensible to her empathy. The Spirit might be able to understand, but Rischa had no frame of reference.

That certainly wouldn’t stop her from being kind to him, after he’d been so kind to her. She meandered back and forth in the air, her leafy wings carrying her in a simple pattern. “I guess we try to do that too. Trees can only do so much to protect themselves after all!” She giggled. “We make sure they stay happy.”

“It’s good to do your duty,” Castiel agreed. “If only all the angels would remember that. I think sometimes even we need a reminder of what we’re fighting for. Why we’re fighting. The humans are a good reminder. They’re always so determined, no matter how short their lives are. They take a stand in the face of the impossible, even when it means they stand against us.

He looked around at the peaceful forest that surrounded them, an idyllic scene so different than his recent battles. The memory of sitting out in a park with Dean only the other day and watching the children play around on the playground came to mind. Without the hunter, all those kids would have been caught up in Uriel’s blast. Dean had spent that afternoon watching what had been saved by his and Sam’s determination, and Castiel had joined him.

I was praying that you would choose to save the town.

“Hopefully the humans don’t interfere with your purpose,” Castiel said to the girl. It wasn’t hard to imagine someone as small as her being snatched up. Not all humans were good. Even those like Dean and Sam would grab first, ask questions later. The unknown was feared, and a sprite like her was unknown to even Castiel.

Rischa nodded, a look of concern passing over her face for only a second. She had heard plenty about the humans that were dangerous. Before that, she had met one whose face still made her shudder if she thought of it. Human hands, so huge and powerful, could crush her easily, as that man had demonstrated once.

“I don’t think most of them would try,” she decided after her pause. “Even … even if a lot of them would try to catch us first, I don’t think they’d want to be mean once they realized what’s going on. Humans do their best just like anybody.”

Rischa had to smile faintly at the memory of Jacob’s first time in the woods. He and Bowman hadn’t exactly gotten along then, but now they were, without a doubt, best friends.

“It’s hard sometimes to see eye to eye when people are so different, but I guess that just means we gotta be careful and patient, right?”

“We do,” Castiel agreed with the tiny sprite that fluttered in the air of the forest. “And when they stray from the path, we can be there to remind them. To help them understand.” Perhaps he could find a way to understand Dean. One day. Until then he would continue to watch over the Righteous Man. Dean had a destiny, whether he admitted it or not.

Rischa smiled brightly. She couldn’t be certain with the strange way Castiel’s emotions echoed around, like a foreign tune with instruments she’d never seen before, but she thought something might have shifted. It might be resolve, or it might be something else, but Rischa chose to be hopeful.

A bird’s call caught her attention and Rischa glanced up at the sky ruefully. She had been out for a while, and while she was very happy to make a new friend, her mother would want her to come home soon. “I should probably head back before someone worries about me,” she said regretfully. “Castiel, if you want to, you should come and visit us someday. It’d be fun!”

“If there is ever time during the fight, I will take another walk,” Castiel responded. He tilted his head back to stare at the sun one last time. The calls in the back of his mind came to the fore, a staccato beat of Uriel’s frustration hitting him first. Already the other angel was berating him for missing out.

Castiel had not sought Revelation as he had. Now he would have to take their orders through the other angel.

“Farewell, Rischa Songbird. May we meet again.” With that, his own wings fluttered and took hold, and he vanished. The warmth from the sun left his cheeks and he returned to the dark fight he’d sought respite from.

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