ZACHARIAH--

Zachariah has been walking this Earth for over 4000 years. His name was a curse amongst the angels, someone not to be trifled with. Demons held his name in celebrity, that is until he started killing them too. Now it seems both factions of heaven and hell didn't like him so much. Neither of them could stop him, there'd been times when the angels would try to smite him from Heaven, or when Lucifer himself tried to make a deal. It never worked, it all never worked. His hatred knew no stoppage… but the one he hated the most? Illessa.

The two had been lovers at one point, while he trained her in the arts. They trained for years on end. Until she decided that an angel's life was worth more than his and banished him to hell. That was nearly 150 years ago. The fight out of hell was something of legend. Something even the current ruler of hell was astonished about. He clawed his way out. The trail of destruction that he left in his wake as he made his way back. Only one problem.

Between hell and the material world?

Purgatory.

That was another long, long fight.

For the last one hundred and fifty years Zachariah had been in a constant fight. All because his lover betrayed him. Fighting werewolves, leviathans, vampires… all sorts of things that go bump in the night. There was only one thing on his mind.

Revenge.

While Zachariah fought, Illesa might feel something was happening, she'd hear what sounds like a heartbeat. A familiar heartbeat.

She'd feel the tear between worlds as her very spell shatters, the one that she placed to keep Zachariah banished. The one that she cast to do away with him, in hopes that she would be powerful enough to keep him there. Even with the additional wards she placed, it was no match for Zachariah's hatred.

He was no longer man, he wasn't demon, he wasn't angel.

Then it hits her like a freight train, as every single one of her wards shatter.

Once again, Zachariah fights tooth and nail to get home. And once he does, the very mortal plane seems to shudder at his very existence. Demon's stop in their tracks and look towards the heavens. Angel's stop and gaze down at the Earth.

Zachariah is back.

Heaven and Hell will burn with his rage.


ILLESSA--

She felt it, like a trembling in the very fabric of the world, though most humans would never even notice it. It jerked her awake, her eyes flying wide with shock. She had no doubts in her mind what had caused such a feeling, and dread filled her. <i>Zachariah.</i> He would be coming for her, of that she had no doubt. And she honestly wasn't sure that any amount of warding Castiel had done to the academy grounds could prevent him. If Zachariah was coming for her, hiding here would do her no good, and would endanger everyone else, most especially Cas. He'd helped her when she'd needed it most, saved her life even, and she owed it to him to keep him out of Zachariah's sights.


She'd climbed out of bed and dressed hastily, then began throwing a few supplies – both of a magical nature and of a more mundane nature – into a knapsack. She stuffed a few items of clothing into the top of it, then paused to look around the room of her little cabin. No, nothing else was worth taking, not if she was going to be on the run. She honestly believed that it was hopeless, that she wouldn't survive, but...she had to at least try, and absolutely had to get him away from here before he encountered Castiel, or those sweet little nephilim orphans Cas had brought back.


Throwing on her beloved cloak, she left the cabin and headed to her Land Rover, sure that she was leaving behind her life, as well.


BRYAN--

Bryan was already in her Landrover when she came to it. He wasn't dumb, he didn't trust her…but he didn't want to kill her. Not anymore. So, when she opened the door, he looks over at her. "So, where we going?" he wasn't going to let her kick him out of the car…over the last few months, he made sure he learned how to stop witches from cursing or using their powers on you. Something he paid very close attention to. "Something has you spooked. What'd you do? Bewitch someone? Finally betray the group?" asking as he lifted a brow looking at her.

"I know how you witches are." saying as leaned back in the seat.

"So, I'm coming with you to make sure you're not up to any evil shenanigans. So. in the meantime. Tell me what's got you so spooked?" asking as he looked right at her. "Of everything, something has you spooked enough that you feel the need to run." folding his arms, he smirks. "But, I'm not leavin' you. So, either spill the beans and drive on, or drive on and spill the beans."


ILLESSA--

Illessa sighed when Bryan's voice drifted out from the interior of the Land Rover, then grunted softly and hauled herself up into her truck. She tossed her bag into the back, settled herself into the seat, and pulled the seatbelt across to buckle it – all of this before she deigned to answer him. “I'm leaving,” she answered, her tone short and a little bit cold, something that, up until now, she'd never done to him. In fact, she'd worked long and hard to try to get him to – if not trust her – at least not work so hard to end her life just for being what she was.


She turned the key, starting the truck, then looked over to him. “Look, if you need a ride to town or something, I can drop you. But I'm taking off and you are <i>not</i> invited.” The last thing she needed was him deciding to tag along because he suspected her of something. He didn't need to die. She was actually fond of Bryan, even if also often frustrated by him. She just didn't want to see him caught up in her mess. Besides, she didn't want him, of all people, to find out about the skeletons in her closet. So far, the only person on the planet that knew was Castiel...and Zachariah.


Fine, whatever.” A frustrated, resigned sigh at his refusal to leave, and she shook her head and jerked the truck into gear, pulling out onto the little rutted road that connected her to the single road leading off the academy grounds. She'd find a way to lose him later, before he was really in danger. Taking the fairly straight road through the woods, she risked a glance over at him. “Sometimes, you just have to get <i>out</i>, you know?” The lie was an easy one for her. She'd felt like that many times in her long life, before finally finding somewhere that had felt like home at the academy. This was the first time she was ever reluctant to leave a place, and a small frown creased her forehead as she considered all that she was leaving behind.


I'd really rather just drop you in town, Bryan.” Please, please let him take the out and just leave, she thought.


ZACHARIAH--

154 Years Ago….

The angel's name was Eremiel. She was one of the angels who helped bring the down the destruction of Soddom and Gamora. Zachariah had her dead to rights, had her on the run. She couldn't escape her vessel and she couldn't fly away…. he had made sure to clip her wings and trap her in her host. Illessa was with him, but he could feel something in the air, something was different. Stepping through a grove of trees, the winds howled, rain was coming down hard, softening the ground underneath them. A few more steps and he was standing in a clearing, the angel on one side…and Illessa in the middle.

"You…." he growled, eyes narrowing at her as he started walking towards her, he reaches into his coat pulling out a long, silver blade. She's chanting and Zachariah feels himself slowing as vines start sprouting from the ground and wrapping around his ankles. It's not meant to stop him, just slow him down so that the angel could channel power into her. Illessa switched incantations, her eyes burn bright white as the clouds split open. That's when he realized what was going on and his eyes widened, then narrowed in anger.

"I swear unto this, Illessa. When I come back, I promise there will be no place safe where you can hide. I will slaughter everyone you ever knew and cared about!" he roars at her, but she continues chanting. A single beam of light strikes down from the heavens, hitting Zachariah dead center. Now, he can't move, even as he fights against it.

"THIS WORLD WILL BURN WITH YOUR MISTAKE, ILLESSA! YOU MARK MY WOooords-" the ground opens up beneath Zachariah and then closes just as fast. Once Zachariah is gone, the winds stop. The rain tapers off and the clouds part revealing its beautiful sky. The angel, Eremiel would come over to Illessa and stand beside her.

"There aren't enough words in your language to show how much gratitude I have for you, mortal." saying as the angel steps infront of Illessa. Reaching up with a hand, Emeriel places her finger tips against Illessa's forehead curing her of all ailments. Then, in one of her pockets she'll find a charm. "In your pocket, you will find a charm. Use this whenever you need a favor, I am forever indebted to you." and just like that, in a blink of an eye, the angel is just gone.


BRYAN--

"Why? Do you have something to hide?" asking as Bryan lifts a brow at her. Shaking his head. "I don't think so. You're up to something fishy, and I'm going to make sure you're not going to do anything weird." smirking at her as he looks out the window, then looks back over at her. "So, where are we going?" asking, curious, of course. "And just to clarify. Where you go? I go. There's no way around this. Someone needs to keep you in check. All that magic you fling around? There's surely a price you pay for it."

It was true, and its how Bryan felt.

"And to cap it all off? This wouldn't look nearly as weird if you decided to leave in the morning, or during the day. I've been digging into your past, and it's very… very clean. Only records I can find of you are being born in Wales some 200 years ago. After that, things get weird and you get spotted throughout time. But there's no mention. There are pictures, but no written mention. So. To me? Sounds like a coverup. Something you're trying to hide."

"So, what are you hiding, Illessa?"


ILLESSA--

She shot another glance over to him, then sighed and came to a stop at the intersection to the highway. “There's a price,” she said in a murmur filled with emotion. Shaking her head, she debated briefly which way she should turn. Right would take her to town, left would take her north toward Nebraska. She wanted to go north, but...Bryan. She really hoped to convince him to get out while he could. “I don't know where <i>I</i> am going. I'd rather <i>you</i> went back where you belong.” She gripped the wheel, her knuckles turning white with the strength of it.


Last chance.” She knew he wouldn't take it, and sighed, making the turn north. “I've lived a long time, Bryan. How many mistakes have you made in your life? You've lived...what, two decades?” Another glance over to him before returning her attention back to the highway unfolding before them. “I've lived two <i>centuries</i>. I'm still human, you know. I'm just as capable of making mistakes, making bad choices, as any other human.”


Her jaw worked as she fought against the worry and fear and regret and just plain <i>anger</i> that threatened to overwhelm her. Losing control of her emotions at any time was a bad idea, but now...? No, she couldn't let that happen. “If you really wanted to know so much about me, you could have tried asking. I might have even answered you...before. But there are some things, I tell no one.” Well, almost no one. Only one...now two...beings alive knew the full breadth of her sins. One, had saved her, and forgiven her. The other...would be her end.


BRYAN--

"You wouldn't have told me, I'm sure, or fed me some lie" waving a hand "And don't patronize me, I don't care how long you lived, or how long I've lived. We live in the here and now, not in the then and there." saying as he turned to look at her. "Sins of our past will always haunt us. We will always have something we regret. I'm no different, and it sounds like you're no different yourself. Whatever it is that has you spooked, can't be good. Your knuckles are white, you're contemplating going North to Nebraska." studying her "There's something going on. So, you might as well tell me. Even if I don't like you, it's not like you're going to have much of a choice. I'm sticking around and I'm not leaving." putting his foot down.

"So, just get over it and go North. There's a hotel that sits ontop of a Devil's trap, not to mention, it's holy ground. Demon's can't get onto it." Bryan may not be sure what she was running from, but he figured with the two of them, they could take on just about anything. "There's a point when running isn't feasible. When running is the only thing keeping you alive." explaining as he watches her as the street lights illuminate the SUV for just seconds at a time. Whatever it was, it had her rather upset.

"I'm sorry if I seem like an asshole, and I know you weren't involved in it directly. But if a witch killed your entire family. Wouldn't you be suspicious of magic?" asking as he looked down. "So, tell me, Illessa. What has you spooked?"


ILLESSA--

I wish you'd just drop it. <i>Please</i>,” she said, almost begging, even as she realized he wasn't ever likely to do that. He was like a hound on a scent trail sometimes, stubborn and focused and refusing to give up no matter what. Sometimes, she even admired that about him, though she'd never admit it aloud. But, right now, it was just...a problem.


She shook her head, scowling now. Refusing to answer his questions, his comments, for the longest time. The silence stretched out, and finally she sighed heavily. “Actually, a witch did kill my entire family,” she ground out, voice lowering to almost a growl with pent up emotion. “My son, my husband, my little baby daughter. All because I refused to apprentice to her, because she said I had natural magic, powerful magic, and she wanted to shape it. She killed them all. I decided to fight fire with fire, to grasp the weapons offered to me, just like you have, little hunter. The only difference between us, in that, is the weapons we picked up.”


Carefully, she adjusted her grip on the wheel, one hand at a time, a weariness coming over her. In a way, he was right. There really wasn't a point in running. Not to save her own life. But that wasn't why she was running. She was trying to distance herself from everything she'd come to care about, in hopes of being the only casualty of her past. “A devil's trap won't matter for this, nor will holy ground.” She glanced over at him. “Bryan, what's coming...there's nothing on Earth that can stop it.” She slid a glance over to him. “Please, let me drop you somewhere, and just let me go.”


BRYAN--

"I'm sorry your family was killed." saying softly as he turned to face her. "But, I'm not letting you drop me somewhere. Seems like we have something in common. And stop calling me little hunter. It's insulting. I've killed 5 Witches. So, I must know something you don't." explaining. "Go to the lodge anyway. We should be able to find whatever we need to defend ourselves." taking a deep breath, he shakes his head.

"So, No. I'm not going anywhere. Might as well get used to me being around." telling her as he points ahead. "I'm an adult. I am pretty sure I'm allowed to make my own decisions, and right now, that decision is to stay with you." she wasn't going to get rid of him. "Just stop asking, because the answer is going to be no. Tell me what happened, and I'll help whatever it is you need help with." looking at her he gives her a grin.

"Where are we going, Illessa?" telling her with a shrug. "If I have to handcuff myself to your door, I will. So, hopefully I don't have to do that. Let me help you and I promise to be a good boy." smirking


ILLESSA--

She rolled her eyes at Bryan, finding that there was faint amusement lying beneath her frustration with him. “Fine, fine. You're right. You're an adult, it's your neck to stick out so willingly for the guillotine.” She shrugged a shoulder carelessly, though the action belied her feelings. She would leave him behind in an instant, if the opportunity presented itself. Or...if she figured out a way around whatever warding he'd learned to keep her from using spells on him. Better by far that he hate her and live than try to stick with her...and die.


We'll go find your lodge, I guess. For now.” She slid a glance over to him, rolling her eyes again at his smug smirk. “What the hell. One bolt-hole's as good as another.” Focusing on the mostly-dark road ahead, she sighed. “There really isn't anything you can do to help. Right now, I'm not sure God Himself could help.”


Her grip tightened on the steering wheel again as she let her thoughts drift to the past, to events she really would have rather had been able to forget entirely. “There's a man...of sorts...he's coming after me. He won't stop. I betrayed him, once. He...just won't ever stop.” Again, her eyes slid over to briefly study the man...really just a boy to her, no matter what he insisted...before returning to the road. “He'll kill anyone who gets in his way, too, Bryan. That's why I left. I was trying to spare everyone at the academy.” She paused, and when she spoke again, her voice sounded almost...broken. “I can't let anyone else die for my mistakes.”


BRYAN--

Pressing his brows together at her story, he listened and nodded. "When you're not driving. You're going to tell me the full story, Illessa." explaining as he shifted to lean back. "Also, at some point. We're going to need to stop. I know you're putting distance between you and the Academy. But waking up at 4am, getting your things together and driving off isn't good for you. No matter what you say." shrugging. "Also, sounds like this isn't someone you can fight on your own. Don't face him alone. I've got a few tricks I've learned."

Again, he shrugs looking out the window.

"We've got a lot of things in common, Illessa. Even if you are far older. That doesn't mean we can't relate. I also lost my family to a witch. I spent a good chunk of my life searching for the killer. But, I haven't found them." gazing out the window. "Let me help you. Don't ditch me, don't try and leave me behind. Because you know the minute you do, you'll need help." turning to look at her, he points to the highway. "If you take that, we should get where we're going in about twelve hours. That motel is also an old hunters hangout back in the day. From before the days of the internet and cell phones. They used to gather here and trade secrets. It's how most of the lore got passed around."

"Anyway. We should be good there for a bit. It's warded up to keep just about everything out." it was true. This was one of 5 spots in the United States that still existed, though, this one was the best around. "Let me know when you stop. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to stop in Bartlett, Nebraska to catch a few hours of sleep."


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


ILLESSA--

Weariness descended rapidly once Bryan had fallen asleep in the seat beside her. She never slept especially well to begin with, but jerking awake to the sensation of dread, of just <i>knowing</i> Zachariah was free, well...that really just threw sleep out the window. Between the stress and the drive and the lack of sleep, she was just ready to crash. But, for whatever reason her foggy brain couldn't quite grasp, she trusted this boy, so she kept on driving north, toward Bartlett.


Her eyes slid over to her passenger now and again, considering and then dismissing half-formed plan after plan to try to ditch him. Oh, sure, she'd given him every indication that she'd given in and was going to let him help her. But, no. There was nothing and no one on the planet that could help her now. Hell, she hadn't even gone to the most powerful being – outside Zachariah – that she knew, a bloody angel, for fear that he'd even be no match for the man she'd betrayed so long ago. So what in the world would make this boy think he could possibly stand up to Zachariah?


By the time nearly three hours had passed, it was just about 7:00 am, and she was pulling up into the parking lot of a little run down motel alongside the highway just north of Bartlett. Pulling up into an empty space – of which there were several, the lot itself was nearly empty this time of morning – she cut the engine to the truck and just stared out the window blankly for a few minutes. Finally, she roused herself, and looked over to her – mostly – unwanted passenger.


“Bryan. Bartlett. I need some sleep, so wake up, damnit.”


BRYAN--