CASTIEL--

The gold Lincoln Continental pulled up the narrow dirt lane, trees shading the little road from the bright sunlight overhead. Just beyond the left side of the road, running nearly parallel to it, a frozen creek glinted between the trees. The car pulled up to the end of the little drive and came to a stop, the area obviously isolated, with a little one-and-a-half story cottage set back within a small clearing.


Castiel's eyes rested on the little cottage for a few moments, finding himself a little overwhelmed by the thought that this, something that too many humans took for granted as a part of life, was <i>his</i> now. After a quick call to Claire for help, after awkward negotiations on the phone throughout the morning, after a transfer of a sum of money that he'd really paid no attention to, everything had lead...here. A home, in a way he'd never had before, in a very <i>human</i> way.


Lips twitching with the desire to smile despite the...he thought it might be nervousness, and certainly distrust...he could sense from Meg, he turned to look at her. “I still have to get all the warding in place, although...there's some now. The former owner was...a hunter. But I should be able to make you safe here, Meg.” He paused, actually biting at his bottom lip now in worry...even a bit of anxiety. “Is it alright?”


MEG--

The drive has left me slightly nauseous and I get out of the car as soon as we stop. I look around warily before settling on the house. It's..cute, I suppose, if you like that kind of thing, but it's isolated, by the look of things and therefore should work out for my needs. I lean down and look at Castiel through the passenger side window, he's just in there lost in thought. I guess I can kind of understand, not often an Angel buys a house or has need of one. He bought it to keep me safe out of some love he thinks he feels for me. It's all a bit much and though I find myself loathing using him this way, it can't be helped.

"You're day dreaming.." I smile to him. I have to admit, he is rather sweet, those blue eyes contain the universe. Wow, look at me, all poetic and shit. "Show me around? This place isn't warded against Demons I hope." Gentlemen first. Who knows what kind of traps that hunter set up.


CASTIEL--

He blinked once, then a soft chuckle fell from slightly parted lips. He shoved open his door and unfolded his tall frame from the car, his eyes once more drawn to the pleasant little house. “Of course.” He paused, then, a lopsided smile forming. “Though, I've never been inside. I only saw it from the outside once, when Sam needed to stop by for...something.”


He looked to her again, realizing warding against demons would be quite the problem for her, though he'd learned ways around that, to allow for certain being attuned properly to the warding to pass unharmed while still protecting from anyone or anything not attuned. In fact, he was eager to try several new methods of warding he'd discovered recently in the Men of Letters archives, methods that could ward them even, on some levels, from humans, from any creature not attuned to them – or, at least, anything that wasn't strong enough to simply overpower his own grace. Anything, he thought, that could add a measure of security until he could figure out what was going on with Meg.


It might be. I'm not sure,” he said lightly, reaching out with his grace to try to sense what warding might be in place. He found none that would harm her in any way, but he would remain cautious until he could be sure. “Easy enough for me to break, if we find any that are still working.”


He moved to mount the steps to the little porch that fronted the cottage, turning to beckon to her, an almost childlike amusement dancing in his blue eyes, brightening them. “Come, little bee,” he said, one of his rare, true, full smiles playing on his lips. When he got up onto the porch, he was met with simple, country style wooden furniture sitting about haphazardly. Most of it was worn by the elements, obviously left without care. Though, most of it would still be usable, with some cleaning and repair.


He reached up above the door frame, feeling around until his finger brushed against an object with the feel of cold metal, and he pulled down a key to the front door. Unlocking and opening the door, he drifted inside. Right under a skewed rug was a devil's trap, but the paint on it was flaked, and it was broken and would pose no issue to Meg. He moved on, assuming she would follow when she felt comfortable, searching more for any potential wards, traps, or other threats more than actually paying attention to the room itself.


As he moved through the main room and into the small kitchen area that was open to the main room, he found a ward against ghosts and a ward to warn of werewolves, both intact. Two more wards meant to repel or harm demons were also present in the kitchen, but only one was still intact – thought only barely, its power waning – and he eliminated that problem with a swift stroke of his blade through the paint. The small bathroom, with barely room for a tub/shower combo, a tiny sink, and a toilet, contained no wards he could detect, and no traps.


When he emerged from the bathroom, he looked around the open room, his brow wrinkling in thought. The furniture was thick with dust, obviously left for quite some time, but usable. The fireplace would need cleared of old ash before it could be used, but seemed otherwise intact. It wasn't the perfect type of home he'd glimpsed over the years during cases with the Winchesters, or rarely seen in magazines, but he felt it was perfect for their needs. He glanced at the tiny wooden stairs leading up to where he believed the bedroom would be, but decided to leave that until later.


Meg,” he said, hesitantly, turning his full attention to her, his blue eyes going from the cold assessment of the cottage to a softer, gentler look. “It's safe, downstairs at least, if you'd like to come have a look.”


MEG--

My attention is everywhere as I follow him towards the house, I let him go inside alone while I explore the front porch. He finds me leaning on a post staring off into nothing, arms crossed, a barrier against a flood of memories and emotions I can't afford to have right now, though, sadly, not the memories Castiel wishes I would have. As an Angel of the Lord, one can hardly accuse the man of lying about everything he has shared with me so far. But it all seems rather..far fetched. But again, here I am, as if I was always meant to be by his side, I was never one to believe in coincidence, I have seen too many instances of fate taking what it is due, dragging you down, kicking and screaming all the way.

I start a bit when he speaks to me and I can't help smile at his obvious enthusiasm, I glance at the room beyond the door and hesitate, this is a lot. Like way out there and expectations are increasing by the moment, even if perceived. "Look..I..don't know if I can do this." Second thoughts? Thirds, fourths, thousandths. This guy is way too nice for me, way too eager to protect when he doesn't know what he's protecting me from. "Why are you doing this for me?" I eye him expecting an honest answer that I can sink my teeth into, something real, not just hopeful romantics and self sacrifice bullshit. "I'm a Demon, Castiel..you don't know what I've.." My back straight and my chin raised in that oh so defiant way he knows best. "And I don't regret a thing." Regret is not in the Demon vocabulary, we may choose a different path, we may change and evolve, but we do not regret. Not willingly.


CASTIEL--

He stepped into the doorway and stood there, staring at her with that intense gaze of his, worry darkening his eyes. “Meg.” The word was a plea, an acknowledgment of her hesitation and distrust, and, somehow, an answer – all of this at once. There was a pause as he considered the question seriously. Last night, well, that could have been explained by intoxication, and the shock of simply seeing her again. It could have been, but it wasn't really an explanation at all. Oh, it might have been a good explanation for daring the the kiss that almost got him killed, but it didn't touch the need he still felt to protect her from whatever he sensed she was running from. And it certainly didn't explain the feelings he still experienced, even now – the tenderness toward her, the desire to see her safe and well, the simple need to just be close to her.


“I know what you are. I can <i>see</i> what you are, I can feel it crawling just under the skin of my vessel.” He sighed, reaching up to rub at his neck, finally turning that stare away from her to look down to his feet. “I'm not asking you to change. I'm not...asking anything of you, except that you let me help you understand what happened, why you don't remember.”


Another sigh, and his hand dropped back to his side while he looked up to her, shifting to lean against the door frame lightly. “You're running from something – or someone – and I want to help you.” He hesitated again, then a faint quirk of his lips settled into a lopsided smile. “Besides, I owe you. Ought to be fun for you – an angel owing a demon a favour.” The smile dropped as quickly as it had appeared, leaving him somber, looking so much like he once used to – serious, determined, and committed to a cause he'd long since given up.


Cas pushed away from the door frame and stepped toward her, until he was standing within bare inches, looking down at her – her with her chin raised to him in defiance, her eyes sparkling with rebellion, and yet...something else he couldn't quite identify. He was searching her face, though not even he was sure exactly what he was looking for. Perhaps he just wanted to <i>look</i>, to see her, and to see into her, in the ways an angel could. The honey-sweet feel of her was, to his perception, dulled from what he'd once known, but still enough to overpower the sensation of oily-black-smoke that repelled his angelic instincts even as it somehow also drew him to her.


“You,” he murmured, tilting his head at her, his lips twitching with a barely restrained smile, “used my name, little bee. That's...new.”


MEG--

"It's your name..calling you Clarence all the time would be, confusing." I wish he would stop looking at me like that, with compassion and warmth. What does he know of me, of what I've done, how could he even bear to even look at me. I don't back down, I am not ashamed of what I am and I will not be made to feel that, in the end we all sleep in the beds we make. His scrutiny does, however, give him one insight that he might not have known before now. I am not alone. If he looks, if he pulls back the screens of smoke and bluster, he will see something else, alive and shielded in a tightly woven cocoon of power. Not something one would usually find within a Demon like me.

"Maybe I don't want to remember." I speak low, my eyes quickly dart around a moment before I move around him to head into the cabin proper and have a look around. "Maybe it's better this way, does it change who I am?" I turn a bit and glance at him. "Did we..have something?" I raise a brow, it's all a distraction anyway, a change of subject, back to playing the cat and mouse game rather than explore some deeply hidden things I am not ready to reveal to a complete stranger. "Were we..lovers?" How strange would that be, I mean, that kiss was damned hot and spending the night with him, not sleeping, but just with him, was nice. "You remind me so much of someone, you know.." God why does he always have to look like some kicked puppy, it stirs things inside me I should not have, I am not a sympathetic creature.


CASTIEL--

He chuckled softly. “Perhaps, but still,” he said, letting an easy shrug finish the sentence for him. “I'm not saying I don't like it, you using my name for a change.” A sigh came as she moved away suddenly, slipping around him to head into the house.


Still, Cas couldn't help but turn to follow along after her, following as much that sense of <i>something</i> other, something different about her that had been teasing at the edge of his senses all through the previous night. He hadn't quite grasped what it was yet, but he knew he was so close now. “I don't know,” he replied absently, more focused on the feel of her with his angelic senses than in the here-and-now. “You still feel like you, look like you, but there's...still...something...”


The next questions snapped his focus back to her completely. “I'm not sure how to answer that, Meg. I...” The slightest hesitation as considered, then finished, “Yes, I think we had something. We were not...lovers. But, I think, if things had ended differently,” he said, then hesitated again, surprised at the catch in his throat as the last image he had of her came unbidden, her asking why she needed protecting, looking right up at him, eyes flashing as though daring him to do anything to show he thought she was lesser than him. It was something he hadn't thought of her in a long, long time. She was fragile, sometimes so much so it took his breath away. But she was also strong in so many ways, ways he knew he had never been. Cas took a deep breath, trying to push away the bittersweet memory, then finally finished. “I think we could have been.”


A chuckle came as he tilted her head at her in that old, familiar way, the slightest of smiles playing on his lips, fondness in every line of his face and shining in his eyes. “I'd hope I remind you of...me. I still hope that, somewhere inside, you still carry the memory of me.”


He took a step closer to her, then stopped suddenly, a look of shock tinged with fear replacing the fondness. Without thought, stepped back, staring at her. The sense of otherness about her that had been teasing at him, he had finally realized what it was. To his sight, buried deep within, something glowed with immense power, power that had been almost entirely cloaked to his senses...until now. It burned within her, and he wondered how he could have ever missed it now that it was revealed to him.


“<i>Cambion.</i>” The word was a whisper, one filled with all the dread and fear and revulsion and just plain shock that was overwhelming him. “Meg, how..” He wasn't sure what he wanted to ask, what he could possibly say to her. Despite the feelings the thought of a cambion coming back into the world flooded him with, it didn't change how he felt about <i>her</i>...and that dichotomy left him floundering, at a loss for what to do or say or even think.


Finally, he went with the most insistent thought he had, though it surprised even him that out of everything swirling through his mind, <i>this</i> was the thing that still seemed most important. “Oh, Meg,” he started, his hand twitching with the desire to reach out to her, though he was afraid she wouldn't welcome it, especially after his initial shocked reaction. “What was done to you? <i>Who</i> did this to you? I... I will <i>kill</i> whoever did this to you.” His hands curled into fists, as surprised at his own rage as he had been at the rest of the rollercoaster of emotions within the past few minutes.


MEG--

I'm starting to think this guy has issues with personal space and his lack of comprehension about the value of 'The Bubble'. "Sorry, I can call you Clarence if it makes you happy.." That confuses me, but I guess it gives him a bit of a hold onto the woman he wishes I was. Sorry to disappoint. I don't want to talk anymore on how I should want my memories back, but then he's in my space again and I back away instinctively. I can almost feel his glory trying to slip under my skin like a warm afterglow and then the look on his face says it all. He knows.

Instinctively and without really thinking about it I slip my hands over my abdomen, without my shirt I have started to show a slight swell and I know it's going to be no time before I won't be able to hide my condition. However his reaction scares me and I back away, a hand going for my weapon because I know the implications of what I carry and I don't care. It's mine. I'll slaughter anyone who thinks to him it.

"This was a bad Idea, just let me leave, you won't see me again." I don't feel safe here, not with him, not with anyone and I don't want to go back. There is a bubble of panic in my chest that makes it hard to breath because I don't know what to do and his outburst doesn't help. I just need a place to sit and think, I need time to plan. It's not a fucking kitten I'm going to give birth to, it's the Antichrist.


CASTIEL--

Meg, wait....please.” Carefully, slowly, he unfisted his hands and forced himself to relax. All he wanted in that moment was to tear into whoever had violated her, and rip them slowly to shreds. But, she stood there, hands spread over her abdomen, obviously seeking to protect what she carried. And, just like that, concern for her superseded any worry he might have for what a cambion coming back into the world might mean.


I...won't stop you, if you really want to go,” he said in a rush, ignoring the flare of pain in his chest that thought caused. “But I don't want you to.” With a sigh, he shrugged his coats off and tossed them across the back of the neglected, dusty, overstuffed chair beside where he stood. “I did this for you,” he said, gesturing around vaguely to the room, and, really, the entire cottage. “To give you somewhere safe. That hasn't changed.” He hesitated, his head cocking to the side as he considered. “Nothing's changed – not really. Only that there's more reason to see that you're safe.”


He rolled his shoulders, trying to work the awkward tension out of them, yet he never took his eyes from her. “I...know you don't remember. I know I'm a stranger to you, and an angel, and you have no reason to trust me.” Carefully, slowly, he took a step forward, toward her. “I give my word I won't hurt you.” Another slow, cautious step forward, his eyes searching her face, his expression one of tender concern. “I swear...on my wings,” he said suddenly, unsure what he could swear on that she might understand was of value to him, of <i>true</i> value, but the only manifestation he had of his true self while he was envesseled was the only thing he could think of. “I won't hurt you. I...won't hurt what you carry within you.”


He took one more step forward, his longer legs carrying him within reach of her now, if he'd only moved to do so. But, he was still wary, cautious, so careful of doing anything to startle her. All he wanted, now, was to hold her, to try to reassure her that things would be alright, that she was safe and....loved. But fear of pushing her away stopped him, though he was unable to quite keep his desires out of his eyes, off his face as he looked down at her. “Please, little bee, let me make this place safe for you. Let me do what I can to make you safe. If you want...I'll go after that.”


MEG--

I watch him relax and the tension goes down in my own shoulders, I cross my arms if only to do something else with my hands other than cover myself, satisfied with his assurance that he would not hurt me or my baby, I suppose that after all this, I have to trust him. "You are a strange one, Clarence.." Any other Angel would have killed us both on the spot. Any other Angel would have killed me the moment we met. "I can see why I would have liked you..before." Maybe I like him a little bit now, he's kinda cute, kinda sweet on me and all around messed up, just like me.

"I'll stay, but you'll stay too, right? I don't really want to be alone." I look around then find a place to sit. "I'm sorry, this is difficult for you too and I'm not being considerate. But Hello, Demon." I smirk and just make myself as comfortable as I can. "Maybe I could get to know you, again. I've been in Hell so long, I can't recall the last time I was topside." Though I suppose time is different in Hell.


CASTIEL--

Cas nodded slowly, unable to help the smile that spread across his lips. Strange certainly wasn't the worst thing he'd been called. And, from her, it sounded quite a lot like a compliment, of sorts. “I'll stay,” he murmured, picking up his coat and digging into one of the deep pockets, though his attention remained primarily with Meg. His hand emerged with the can of spray paint he'd tucked inside before making the trip to the cottage, and he tossed his coat back onto the chair negligently.


Don't worry about it. You've been through a lot.” A stab of guilt accompanied his acknowledgment of what she'd been through, though he kept that to himself as much as he was able. He should have looked for her. He...should have. Shaking his head to clear away the past, the lingering regrets, he continued, “and...I really don't think I'd want you to change.”


She made herself comfortable, and he stood looking around at the walls of the cottage, mentally plotting out the best places to put up wards to make them the most effective. His eyes slid back over to regard her when she spoke again, however. “It's been...a long time, Meg. A long time since I thought you...died.” He glanced away, then back to her, blue eyes bright with interest.


I'll tell you whatever you'd like to know. You've only to ask.” And everything about his open, somber face indicated he meant every word. He watched her for a moment, then let his eyes return to looking over the walls, plotting out the warding...though the rest of his attention, all the rest of his senses were still focused on the honey-sweet sensation of her presence.


MEG--

"We'll need a nursery.." I think I said it only to shock him a bit. There are many months to go and who knows if we'll still be here by then or if we'll survive what I know will be coming for me. I can certainly understand how this complicates matters. He wanted a reunion and got this mess dumped on his lap. "I suppose knowing what I know I shouldn't have kept it, but I could never bring myself to terminate this pregnancy." Or myself, there is a deep urge building inside me for self preservation, even now, it wants to live. "Not completely shocking..considering." I shift a bit and get more comfortable, watching Castiel move around the room and warding the house.

"Jacob knows, he's the first one I told once I returned, I figured that he of all people would understand, but he has a lot to lose I suppose. I don't blame him." I sigh a bit and lean my head on the back of the sofa, my eyes drifting closed a bit. "Not all Cambion are evil, right?" I yawn and blink my eyes open before looking at him again. Angels do not sleep, neither do Demons..but I'm so tired all the time, this thing inside me is draining my energy faster than I can gain it. "I don't want it to be evil, it's just a baby. My pretty baby." I yawn again, eyes having drifted closed again.


CASTIEL--

Mmm,” he hummed, acknowledging the need for a nursery as he worked on the walls, weaving paint and grace into protections against most anything he could think of. However, he stopped, turning to look at her when she mentioned termination. “No,” he said simply, but with force behind the word. He stared for almost a full minute, then turned back to his tasks, listening to her behind him. He agreed quietly with her assessment of Jacob and his situation, a tiny flare of gratitude toward the demon once again for everything he'd done the day before. Even, he thought with amusement, 'spiking' ehis drink.


He hesitated, but didn't turn, when she asked about cambion being evil. There was a time he might have answered swiftly that they were, that they had to be, being demon-spawn. Things had changed so much since then. “I don't think they are,” he said slowly, considering. “I...think they're just children. Children born with the potential for a lot of power, but..just children.”


He turned, then, to look at her, the warding on the first floor done – or as much as it could be with his currently limited supplies. His head tilted, his expression softening as he watched her come, it seemed to him, close to falling asleep. He wondered what sort of drain the cambion child must be on her. The thought worried him. He had no idea what a human woman needed while with child, and a demon carrying a cambion..well, that was something that had only happened once in recent history, and he had no knowledge of how it had been accomplished.


He moved over to her as quietly as he could, not wanted to disturb her, nor to startle her. “Yes, little bee, your pretty baby,” he murmured, gentleness in his low, gravelly voice. Cas grabbed up his overcoat and laid it across her. The cold might not kill her, or even make her ill, but...he still wanted her to be as comfortable as he could make her. Leaning close, he dared a brief brush of his lips against her forehead. “Rest for awhile.”


He stood then, looking down at her. “There's wood and kindling if you want a fire. I've got to go pick up some supplies..if you don't mind being left alone for a little while..?”