The angel pushed open the door to the Salt Lick and strode inside. The bar was a little busier than the last time he'd been here, but since he was used to a long series of bars in his time with the Winchesters, he simply ignored the humans who were there to enjoy themselves, or perhaps just drink away unspoken sorrows. As he strode to an empty table tucked away in a corner and took a seat, he considered again his reasons for coming.
There was no reason for him to be here, not really. But curiosity had been tugging at him, and he'd finally decided to give into it. After all, he truly did love watching humanity, and a bar was, he'd discovered over the years, a good place to engage in this activity. If the demon business owner happened to be around, and happened to engage with him...well, that was a bit of curiosity he wouldn't mind indulging, either.
is waiting tables again, I think I'll have to find more staff as it
is because I don't want Ren
so much when he could be doing something more fun, but finding staff
is complicated enough, considering all the secrets we hide, I would
have to ask for advice because I was not comfortable with hiring a
demon or two when there could be questions concerning my involvement
with an Angel.
Speaking of Angels. "I hope this doesn't mean you are having second thoughts about our..agreement." I had stepped into the kitchen a moment when Cass walked in, but I noticed him as he sat down and decided to walk over to see what this second visit was about, I hadn't thought he would return, unless he wanted something. Then again he could be meeting someone here, I figure that if he did want to go back on our agreement, he would come at me so that I never saw him, at least, it's what I think.
The shifter boy is darting around attending to the humans. Castiel lets his eyes track Ren as he moves around more than he watches the humans he'd told himself he was here to observe. The boy's movements, to the angel's eyes, nearly shout that he is something other than human, though he imagines it is probably far more subtle a thing to the humans he's interacting with.
His attention is diverted when a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts, and Cas offers the demon a half shrug. “No second thoughts, Jacob,” he replies easily. “I was free tonight, and thought this would be a good place to watch them.” The angel's eyes flick around the room, indicating the humans as the 'them' he referred to, before returning to gaze steadily at the demon.
He gestures to the empty chair across from where he was sitting, the slightest of smiles turning up the corners of his lips. “Feel free to have a seat, if you're not too busy.”
eye the bar, then pull the chair to take a seat, rocking back on two
legs a few times and motioning to Ren to bring around a couple beers
for Castiel and I. "You like to people watch, maybe you should
come work for me." I laugh at the thought of this awkward Angel
working behind the bar. "I suppose I can understand the
fascination, but from what I hear, you haven't been down here for a
very long time, I guess after a while I stopped looking at them,
their lives are insignificant and redundant." Which makes my job
easy, get them drunk, get them to spill their inner most desires and
then get them to bargain away their souls for peanuts. Yes, the
ritual has changed to fit the situation, I can't exactly go play in
the middle of the road at all hours when I have customers.
Ren comes by with the beers and a fresh basket of porkrinds of which he grabs a handfull, smirks and wanders away. I watch him a moment before looking back at Castiel and raising my beer. "To evil." I laugh at that, remembering that episode of the Simpsons.
Castiel smiles a bit at the thought of trying to work in a place like the bar. If nothing else, he has enough experience now that it would likely go better than his time working as a sales associate at a Gas n' Sip. “Mmm,” he offers, noncommittally, before adding almost as an afterthought, “about a decade, now. Not long.” Of course, he didn't agree at all that human lives were insignificant, but he chose to say nothing. It was a subject he and a demon were never likely to agree on, and so, not worth debating.
The shifter boy delivered a pair of beers and the peculiar snack food – pork rinds, the angel recalled, even as he recalled enjoying them during his time as a human – and the angel let his gaze linger on the boy as he wandered off again, his every movement restless and showing an energy far beyond that of a human. When Cas pulled his eyes away to settle on Jacob once more, he raised his own beer, a surprising himself with a laugh at the toast. “To humanity,” he countered with a toast of his own before taking a long pull from the bottle.
“Made any deals, lately?” His eyes narrowed slightly as he asked the question, though there was no hint of malice about him. Instead, he was simply curious. He'd come to accept that free will meant humans would do things that weren't in their best interests. Much as he'd told Dean once, he couldn't save everyone. One had to pick and choose the battles to win the war.
indeed. "A few, you would be surprised how easily the wretched
and desperate hand over their immortal souls after a few drinks and a
few comforting words." I smirk, it's hard to tell if I'm joking
or not, Cas hasn't known me long enough to make that call, but I
don't elaborate further, I just take a long drink from my bottle.
I do notice that he has some kind of interest in Ren, no one else seems to have noticed how different he is, a few people have commented on how much energy he has, they compare him to a cat, but he is far from a feline. I cock my head and stare back at Cas a moment before speaking up. "So is this what you do now? Watch humans and babysit traumatized children?" I raise a brow. "I'm just asking because with all that power..I don't know, I would have thought that a being like you would have made more of an impact on this world." Yes, things happened, most humans are still oblivious to it all, but with the kind of power Cas has, I wouldn't be sitting here, wondering about the lowly meatbags.
Sadly, Cas reflects briefly, he really can't find it in himself to be surprised at all that some of the humans here are willing to sign over their souls for whatever deal the demon is offering each. He covered what he feared might be a hint of the sadness that thought raised flickering across his expression with another drink from his beer.
The sadness faded into a more pensive look as Jacob spoke again. “I've had...quite an impact on the world, at times,” he replied, regret lacing his voice. “It wasn't always for the best, even with the best of intentions. But I've found the small things are just as important as the grand gestures of power.” Cas paused, then allowed himself a gentle smile. “Making a difference to just a few lives is just as rewarding to me as all the glory of battles won in Heavenly crusades.”
He grew serious then, allowing just a hint of the power Jacob spoke of to shine though – though subtly, it wouldn't do to have any of the humans in the bar pick up on it, after all. “And, when I'm of a mind to, I do still hunt with the Winchesters, among the...babysitting.”
raise a brow, my eyes burn red at his push of power, unlike the usual
demon black. We crossroad demons are a special breed. I would enjoy a
fight over an innocent soul with him, we could both wheel and deal
with the hapless meatbag until it's either saved or damned. But I
doubt Castiel would enjoy such a game. I smirk at that and take
another drink. "I've been around long enough to know that this
whole..game.." I gesture vaguely around a bit with a hand.
"Can't end well for them, some of them are more perceptive to
the end of things than you know, what's the point of it all, in the
end, they are pawns, it's difficult to see them as anything else."
Now mind you I said it was difficult and not impossible and that maybe because my son has a soul, sure, he's not human, but even they have souls and I would gut any Demon that would try to claim it. Maybe there is a reason I don't mind having Castiel around, if anything, he would save Ren, should someone come knocking at my door.
Content with the reminder – to himself as well as to the demon sitting across from him – of what they both really are, and are really capable of, Castiel relaxes and offers that slight shrug of his. “They're humans, with human souls and human lives,” the angel says, his voice rumbling lowly. “Power for your kind, power for Heaven, and yet...there's still a beauty about them, if you really stop to take a look.”
He lifts his bottle, taking a drink while letting his eyes roam the room. Despite so many humans to watch, he settles once more for silently observing the shifter moving about, attending to his duties. It reminded him of the theory he'd had on his first visit to the bar, and he slid his gaze back to the demon, his lip quirking. “Even monsters have a beauty about them, when they don't let themselves slide down into the darkness. Don't you think, Jacob?”
glance back to Ren and frown. "Ren is different." I'm a
Demon, I find pain and misery beautiful. That look in the meatbags
eyes when he realizes what I am and what will happen to him now that
he was so foolish. "And stop looking at him, you are not taking
my son from me." I recall our first conversation about Ren and
how, if I wanted he could take him off my hands. Is that why he's
here, is he plotting to save the hapless shifter from the evil Demon?
On the surface I show very little signs of getting myself workedup,
but I have enough age and wisdom to keep it tamped down for now.
Again, I am a Demon, it doesn't take much, not when it comes with
what is mine, I have a very possessive nature. I will fight him, here
and now, slaughter every meatbag in the room if I have to or even in
the whole state to keep what is Mine.
"Ren will never lose himself in such a way, he's just a boy, he is still innocent and I intend to keep him that way." It's not that Ren doesn't know what I am and what I do, he's seen me do pretty bad things, he understands the nature of the beast and in time I will let him show me his nature, but now is too soon..maybe when he's 500.
Castiel allows himself to laugh once more, the sound low and soft. “I have no intention to take your son, Jacob,” he admitted. “Renard is young, he seems...happy here.” He paused, regarding the demon curiously. He was old enough – and wise enough it seemed – to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself, for the most part. It made proving his theory about the demon difficult. And that thought made him realize his real motivation, or motivations as it was twofold, for returning to the bar.
His time with Meg during his madness had made him suspect even demons could learn to care and maybe even to love. Jacob was the first he'd encountered since that time years ago that made him wonder if Meg really wasn't a completely unique demon after all. Then, angel's interest in the shifter who didn't appear to hunt humans was another motivation. He'd come to suspect in the past few years that there might be some monsters that fought their nature, that tried to avoid the evil that was nearly universally believed they must succumb to. The pair that had come to Lebanon, to this bar, might let him answer those questions – even if the answer was something only he would ever know.
Pulling himself from his thoughts, he offered Jacob his best reassuring smile, though his eyes sharpened as he returned to appraising the demon. “Renard has nothing to fear from me, unless he begins hunting humans.” He raised his beer, finishing it off before setting it back down on the table. “Keep him as innocent as you can, all things considered. I'd be very interested in seeing a monster that can avoid the call of evil,” he admitted.
Ren is just a boy, he's not a monster. I believe that they are a lot
like humans, sickness and bad experiences makes them monsters, not
nature." Calling my son a Monster, I outta rip your wings off. I
huff grimly. "Besides, he prefers rabbit and chickens., and he's
never hunted anything larger than a wounded doe." Though after
the winter, I do plan to take him for some real hunting, bear or wild
cat maybe. Father and son, tearing up the wilderness.
I sit back in my chair and wave it off. "We are just trying to get by without making too many waves, it was never our intention to do more than that and though nothing would make me more proud than to have my son be the beastly terror I know he could be.." I give Cas a sheepish grin. "I would rather he have a more peaceful life, but who knows, his kind are long lived, maybe in a few hundred years.."
The angel's eyes squinted up, curiosity warring with amusement. “Maybe, Jacob. Maybe you're right. I've wondered often of late if that might be the case,” he admitted slowly, wondering even as he did so why he voiced this particular thought out loud at all. Then again, after so much time with only humans for company, as much as he did love humanity, it was a different thing altogether to converse with someone who had a different perspective on, well, everything. Even if it wasn't a perspective he really shared, he could, at least, appreciate it.
“And you're right. Even creatures with lives so long the humans can't truly understand them can learn to do unexpected things, I suppose.” Castiel knew even as he said it that he meant to include more than just the shifter boy in his statement.
The angel sighed, true regret in the soft sound. “At any rate, I'm pleased to see that you're not causing trouble beyond...what I've allowed for.” He stood, pulling his wallet out and dropping a few bills carelessly on the table. He moved as though to leave, but hesitated. “I will assume you kept the number I left you. If you have any problems...you may call me.” Castiel's eyes flickered one last time to Renard still moving about the room, his seeming boundless energy making him perfect for the job he held down at the bar. “Good night, Jacob,” he said, turning his attention briefly back to the demon before turning and making his way out of the bar.