grumbles a bit as he pulls off the side of the road and shuts off the
engine to save the gas. "Alright, where the fuck is this
hellhole..." He mutters again and pulls the map out of his glove
compartment. He'd circled the area he saw in the rest area and made a
few extra marks on it. "Alright...right fucking highway, I just
left that damn town." He looks over it a bit more, "No
fuckin roads marked on this map...so it's got to be private fuckin
property. So, dirty road, or farm property line."
He looks at the map again, then mutters thinking he should probably get some reading glasses eventually, eyes like the rest of him are starting to go to shit. He wipes his face a bit, and looks at the map again.
"That's got to be at least within a mile or two..." He turns the headlights back on and looks around as the weather hadn't gotten much better. "Alright, private land... if they want to keep it private would have some kind of fence." He looks over to his passenger side window, then leans over to roll it down some. A few scans along the tree line and he notices a single reflector. "Alright...private land."
He starts the engine again, then starts driving slowly, knowing there wasn't any traffic this late. He slows, then reaches down and pulls the spotlight from the floor board and shines it along the road...then sees another reflector, then more of a path. "Ahhhh... someone walks it. Security issue, much?"
He shines it abit farther ahead...then starts driving a bit farther until he notices the snow piled a bit more along the side of the road. "There we are..." He turns down onto the path and cuts the lights and continues driving along the dirt road, which he thought was astoundingly clear considering it's location.
Castiel was strangely restless, given that he rarely felt such things at all. All-in-all, he felt things were going fairly well. The academy was seeing a trickle of kids – well, mostly kids – come in, and they were getting settled in to varying degrees of success. The latest was a girl he himself had brought in after he and the boys had encountered her trying to stalk the same vampire they'd been hunting. After the usual introductions, she'd begged off from any socializing to sleep, though he suspected she was probably still lying awake in the unfamiliar surroundings.
But his restlessness, more a mental thing than a physical one, since his vessel wasn't really prone to such things, had brought him out into the snow-drenched woods surrounding the cabin. He didn't sleep – well, mostly – and he did enjoy being able to take the time to just enjoy the beauty of the world around him. The air was crisp, the snow falling steadily to pile atop the already existing drifts, and the night carried a variety of sounds to his sensitive ears.
His attention was sharpened suddenly when he realized he was hearing a car, and one far closer than just out on the highway several miles out from the cabin. He knew for a fact they weren't expecting anyone else tonight. Everyone that belonged at the academy was tucked snug in the cabin against the weather, and the boys were already off on another hunt a couple states away. The angel's eyes narrowed, and he moved out of the woods to stand in the little dirt road to await whoever was coming. As he waited, he shifted his right arm slightly, feeling for the comforting weight of his angel blade resting there, just waiting for the need of it.
continued letting his car creep along the road, keeping the lights
off for the most part. Honestly, one of the best things about old
cars was that you could turn the lights off. However, older car's
were known for stealth, and he was honestly glad that it was running
as well as it was since it was a couple thousand past its last tune
up. He had the windows down, so the smoke from his cigarettes was
rolling out from inside as he drove. "Hmmmm...lights." He
shakes his head a bit. "Guess someone's home, at least." He
continues along the road, then he slows to a stop as hr sees a figure
in the middle of it. "What the hell is this..." He drives
all the way up and stops a few feet away from the figure and just
sits for a moment. "Fuck it."
He throws it in park and opens the door and gets out.
"Evenin... I think I might be a bit lost, can you tell me what this place is...maybe let me borrow your phone?" He shifts his jacket a little to keep the guns from view but watches the strange man wearily.
The old car Castiel had been tracking by sound finally rolled up into view, and then kept right on going until it came to a halt no more than a few feet from where he stood resolutely in the middle of the smoothed dirt that made it up. Narrowed eyes regarded the man that climbed out of the car silently for several long moments, absently noting the smokey smell of burnt tobacco and, faintly, the older smell of spilt blood and gunpowder. That was enough to keep him on his guard, though he did reason it was possible this was merely a hunter seeking them out for some reason. Except that he didn't really think word of the academy had spread that far in the hunting community quite yet, that some stray hunter would seek them out. And if Sam or Dean had sent someone out to the cabin, either boy would have called to let them know.
“If you're lost, you can borrow my phone,” he said, his voice firm and rather lacking in any warmth as he reached into the pocket of the slightly oversized trench coat he wore as his only seeming defense against the bitter cold of the night and falling snow to pull out his cell phone. “I could help you get back onto the road, as well. It's straight back the way you came.” The angel took a few steps forward, just close enough to be able to hold his phone out toward the stranger, if he were so inclined to take it. “What are you looking for out here?” His sharp eyes searched the stranger's face, trying to decide if he was a threat to the safety of those back at the cabin or not.
steps forward and takes the phone, the cigarette never leaving his
lips, then he looked through the trailing smoke at the other man. He
looks over the phone for a moment, "Nice little phone ya got
here. And it gets reception out here?" He dials his own phone
number and lets it ring, glad he never has his ringer on...and it
doesn't light up, at least he'd have a phone number for this place.
Something felt off about this guy... something that seemed familiar,
not not to the point of acquaintance. He looks at the phone again,
furrowing his brow. "Well, that asshole isn't picking up. Mind
if I try another number?" He looks him over again, then
He looks him over again briefly, the man wasn't dressed like some hick on a farm, and having the phone he did meant he'd have some kind of connection. "So...did it hurt?" He looks at the other man for a moment, "Your arm looks a little stiff."
“Yes, there are one of the towers that allow connection not far from here,” he says, not actually interested in the small talk the man's making. Castiel shrugs a casual assent, not actually caring who the man calls. It's a burner phone anyway, a habit he'd learned from the Winchesters, as were most of his more human habits and affectations.
His casual expression turns to confusion when he's asked about pain, but that quickly changes to open wariness when he sees where the man's attention is directed. It takes a keen eye to notice the slight stiffness where his arm was held ready to shake his blade free if the encounter should prove difficult, and no casual passerby that is lost would be likely to pick up on it so quickly.
Instead of answering the question, he asks one of his own. “Who are you and what do you want here?” No longer worried about threatening an innocent with no reason, he twists his wrist, freeing the angel blade to fall into his waiting hand, the silver tone of it glinting in what moonlight is filtering down through the snowfall. Armed now, he stands his ground and waits, making no other threatening gestures. At least, not until he gives the man a chance to explain himself.
looks at the phone again, then turns it off as he notices the man
shift a bit. He takes a long drag from his cigarette and starts to
toss the phone back, his other hand pulling the angel from it's
holster under his jacket. Then he pauses, finger on the trigger
pointing it more at the man's arm than his chest, but the cigarette
falls from his lips.
"Holy fucking shit...an angel?" He mutters a bit, shaking his head. "Why the fuck's an angel out here in the damn sticks?" He looks over the man for a moment, then considers the question. "Ashe Kienan...formerly of the New York diocese." He doesn't lower the gun, as he never knows if an angel would try anything on an ex-priest or not, but seeing as he wasn't getting the holier than thou vibe from this one, better safe than sorry. "As for why I'm here...this was the only place on a man I saw that didn't get demon blood on it."
Castiel tightened his grip in the blade as the man drew a gun, though, as it wasn't likely to be a serious threat to him, he still waited to see what the man's intentions really were. He couldn't help the quirk of his lips as the man exclaimed rather loudly his surprise, amused at the reaction. Still, if the man guessed he was an angel purely from his blade, well, he needed a little more experience. So many of his brethren had died in the past several years, and angel blades in the hands of those who weren't angels wasn't an entirely uncommon thing in the supernatural communities, both those of the non-humans and those of the hunters, alike.
He considers what was said, turning the man's words and the entire situation over in his mind slowly – though still far faster than a human could process the same amount of variables. Finally, he came to a decision and calmly, careful to give no indication of threat, tucked the blade back up into his sleeve. Once he was effective as unarmed as he could be, he replied to the former priest. “Ashe Kienan. That is a...strange way of choosing a destination. Especially for a man who is...or would that be used to be...dedicated to the service of God's will.” His tone indicated clearly that it made no difference to him either way. He wasn't exactly overflowing with faith in Heaven or his Father these days, himself. He could hardly fault a human for feeling the same.
His head tilted to the side, and he directed an intense stare at the man, looking as much into him as at him. “I find it very interesting that you believe I am an angel. What made you think so?” It wasn't something he encountered very often. If anything, when he revealed his true nature, humans tended to deny the possibility, rather than embracing it. So for someone to just take what seemed to him to be a wild guess was extremely interesting. He knew, once, he'd made people uncomfortable when they sensed that he was something other than human, but even then they'd almost never guessed at his nature. And now, he was well aware that he passed for human far better than he had in the past, though, it wasn't perfect and never would be.
be fair, I was trying to figure out why I felt I was being lead to
this hell hole of a state...stopped to take a piss at a rest area and
got assaulted by a demon. I'm sure it'll be on the news, but I don't
think many people take blood spatter as a sign." He watches the
sword vanish, then tucks his own angel back. "Map got spattered,
and like I said, the only place in this section of the state that
didn't get stained was a couple of acres, a mile and a half off this
little state road just outside a protected national forest." He
looks around, "Which I'm guessing would be here." He moves
back to the car and leans in, pulling out the map he'd drawn from
memory of the spatter and brings it back over.
"And despite my own feelings about listening to some things, signs I get tend to be pretty fuckin clear. I'm supposed to come here for some reason, and I'm met on the property my a blade wielding Malakhim." He chuckles a bit, fishing out another cigarette before offering the map over. "So...again, what kind of place ya got here, that's taint free apparently?"
Strange though it was, he accepted the ex-priest's explanation, even as he re-holsters his weapon. And he knew enough about himself to realize that part of his easy acceptance came purely from the fact that the man's rough manner reminded him, in some small ways, of Dean. Castiel reaches out to accept the offered map, his lips quirking. ' Malakhim.' It was a term he hadn't heard applied to himself in quite some time, and it amused him.
He let his eyes glance over the map, surprised at the accuracy of it for something so obviously hand drawn. And this Ashe was correct; the clear area on the map was very much centered over the cabin. The angel raised his head to study the man standing before him. “The...place is a cabin in a clearing about a mile further down the road. We've set up a place for shelter. A safe space for the innocent victims hunters encounter, the ones who have lost everything and have nowhere left to go.”
He falls silent, folding the map neatly before offering it back to Ashe. It gives him another few moments to think, letting him come to a somewhat risky decision. “I could let you see for yourself,” he said, his gravelly voice offering tentative trust. “But you have to promise to keep your weapons undrawn. It would be...upsetting to some of our residents. And I won't allow their fragile peace to be disturbed, no matter how well-meaning.”
nods a bit watching the angel who still hadn't given a name. He
lights the cigarette before taking the map back. "So, a safe
haven for war victims, so to speak?" He thinks about it, "Sounds
like one of the orphanages I helped out at a few years ago in Jersey.
Had a couple of kids there that had their parents murdered infront of
them." He shakes his head. "Never thought I'd have to deal
with something like that more than twice. Kids here have the same
problems?" He motions for him to come back to the car, reaching
in to turn the lights on, as there wasn't any reason to hide he was
"Get in, you may not be freezing, but I'd like to keep my nuts attached." He eases into the driver's seat and reaches over to unlock the passenger side, pushing the empty wrappers onto the floorboard. He leans back out the window until the angel joins him, "If there's anything I can do to help out around the place, I'm game. If it's off of demon radar, all the better. I know a few less than reputable wards that can be put around to help keep it clear."
Castiel accepted the invitation wordlessly, skirting around the front of the car to pull open the door and fold himself gracefully into the passenger seat once Ashe had unlocked it. The state of the car took him by surprise, but he figured that not everyone was as obsessive about their vehicle as he had learned to be from Dean, and ignored it. “You can drive the rest of the way safely from here. The wards won't trigger while I'm with you. If you stay we can make sure you can pass freely,” he said, not even trying to hide the fact that he didn't completely trust the man from his voiced, though he was willing to give him a chance to prove himself worthy of trust.
“Most of the ones here have lost parents to one thing or another, generally of supernatural origin,” he acknowledged, a deep solemnity to his voice. He did his best to ignore the twinge of guilt he always felt when thinking about one of the original kids sent to Sheriff Mills to get back on her feet, as he was ultimately the cause behind her own parents' deaths, be it directly or indirectly; he still felt that burden was his.
“Most are traumatized in some way. Some are just looking for peace and safety. Some...want to become hunters themselves.” He slid his eyes over to the man in the driver's seat, faintly surprised at his seemingly offhand offer of help. It was a decision that would ultimately rest with the women who ran the academy, though he felt sure they would take the offer of help if it was genuine, and the man was able to prove trustworthy in their estimation. “The property is well-warded. But, more couldn't hurt,” he admitted.
“Castiel. In case you were wondering.” His lips quirked. “My name is Castiel.”
nods, shifting the car into gear and lets it start moving forward,
looking along the road. "Sorry about the mess...been living in
the car for the past week." He chuckles a bit, "How many
wards are on this place that it's staying off the radar? I know the
ones I've been putting on some places I've gone haven't worked nearly
as well as I'd have hoped, but possessed kept coming to break them
down." He shakes his head a bit, looking forward along the road.
"Had to set-up shop in the basement of a few other places that
seemed to have some serious spiritual break-downs." He mutters a
bit, "If these kids are traumatized, I'll need a place to set up
or at least set-aside somewhere to unload."
He pulls up until he sees the cabin, slowing back down, "Any particular place to park, of just any old patch of dirt work?" He chuckles a bit as he drives up a little closer, turning the lights back off to try to disturb people just a bit less, though, flicking his cigarette into a snowdrift to put it out before rolling his window up. "People here wanting to be hunters? What all is being taught to the kids? I tend to do more gunwork, but I've had to do a few improvised things of late... haven't had a lot of chances lately to make any more bullets." He looks back to him, "I had been curious... not many angels tell their names...where as demons love broadcasting who they are. Nice to meet you, Castiel."
“There are...an abundance of wards,” he replied cautiously. While he, personally, felt this man could be trusted, he had to admit his judgment wasn't always the best. “Most demons would never be able to find us, and even those who could won't be able to come onto the grounds. There's warding against nearly every monster out there, as well. It's as safe as the pooled knowledge of several hunters, a quantity of lore books, and, ” here his lips quirked again, “a fallen angel could possibly make it.”
In answer to the question of parking, he simply points to a bare patch of earth that surrounds the garage just peeking out behind the well-lit cabin. The area is obviously well-used, since it's still wet and muddy enough that not even the falling snow has succeeded in covering it over. Right next to the garage, parked at an angle, sits a large gold Continental, it's coloring muted by a couple hours' worth of snowfall dusting it.
“The ones interested are learning weapons and warding, primarily. How to get along in the world, where to find resources and aid when they require it. Some of them, they're just learning to defend themselves. Not all want to be hunters,” he said, his voice softening a bit, laced with both regret and gratitude, all at once. He was glad for that fact, something he would easily admit if ever asked. The angel hated to see so many children turning as hard as hunters had to, simply as a survival tactic.
“Angels don't really hate giving their names,” he added, almost as an afterthought. “Most of my...brethren, well, they just don't look very kindly on humanity. I'm sure you don't introduce yourself to every ant you encounter. That..would be how the majority of my brothers and sisters would look at introducing themselves to humans.”
pulls over to the patch of dirt where Castiel, then lets the engine
die and sets there for a moment before pulling the keys back out.
"Hopefully, there won't be too many fallen angels about."
He gets out of the car and starts making his way back to the trunk,
swiping his fingers over it for a moment before putting the key in to
pop it open, showing his small arsenal and his kits. He mutters and
pulls out a heavy leather suitcase and takes it out before locking it
once more, dabbing his finger on his tongue before letting it trail
over the trunk again.
"So long as no kids get around the car, there shouldn't be too many issues." He ponders for a moment, "I've got a few bullet kits...as I tend to sanctify my own ammo at times. I've only got the of four mold sizes, but they're fairly standard calibers." He looks back to Castiel, "In the times no one wants to know names, no one wants to know who the enemy is, but everyone needs to know their allies." He shrugs a bit, and picks up his suitcase again. "How many people are here, exactly?"
Castiel opened the door and unfolded himself from the seat smoothly, watching Ashe as he opened his trunk. Curious, the angel strode to the back of the car and glanced inside the open trunk, trying to judge if the man would find his open curiosity offensive in some way. He had little experience with the arsenals of hunters outside the Winchesters, knowing only that most guarded their secrets jealously out of a simple need for survival. “No,” he replied absently, giving up on his curiosity as the trunk slams closed again. “Angels who have fallen are a rare thing.”
“The children won't have cause to be out here tonight. I can make sure they're all properly warned before any are likely to venture outside in the morning.” He meets the former priest's look calmly, not acknowledging the talk of his weaponry – though he does make sure to remember what he'd mentioned in case the knowledge was needed later on – then gestures toward the cabin. “It's probably best we go in the front. Around the side there. The door is on the porch.”
Assuming Ashe will follow him, he strides across the still mostly clear patch of earth leading around the side of the cabin, more clear evidence of regular and recent activity around the building. He steps up onto the porch, his actions showing his easy familiarity with the property and the cabin itself. This place was now easily as much a home to him as the bunker. At times, it even seemed this was more a home to him now, with Claire here and his ever-deepening involvement with the project here.
Castiel didn't bother with a key to let himself into the cabin's front door. A twist of his wrist unlocked the door for him, and he stepped inside and to the side to give the man room to step inside and leaving Ashe to close the door behind him. “Ashe Kienan, welcome to Wayward Academy.” The room was larger than it might have appeared from outside, though not enough so to be intimidating. Despite the rough exterior, the inside was decorated in warm and cheery colors, every inch of it exuding a kind of homey warmth. Beyond the main room, where a few couches and comfortable chairs were scattered, lay a darkened hallway that led to the rest of the building's interior.