The first time, she thought for certain she was going to die.
And for Meg having that sort of reaction was not at all -- well, honestly, she was usually in these kinds of situations, but she usually had some kind of escape plan.
She wasn’t usually caught off-guard like this, so this -- was terribly unpleasant.
Meg hesitated for a long moment and stared at the red-headed girl -- only not really a girl. No, not at all. ANGEL.
An honest-to. . .well, God -- Meg supposed -- angel standing in front of her.
And while lately that wasn’t anything new for her, the fact that this one was full-on mojo’d was.
Meg stared for another moment and then out of some half-forgotten memory bank from where Clarence had been talking and she’d been trying not to listen the name fell into the front of her mind and into her mouth.
Anna frowned for a moment, and then seemed to shake herself out of whatever fog she was in and nodded, coming forward, but stopping when Meg instinctively took a step backwards.
“Right,” Anna said after a moment. “Sorry. I startled you.”
Meg snorted. “Just a little. I don’t usually get angels appearing out of nowhere.”
Well. . .actually, she did of late, but she had a feeling Anna already knew that, so she wasn’t going to bring it up.
Although she really wanted to bring it up.
There was another moment where they stood and stared at each other awkwardly when Meg finally blurted out, “What do you want?”
She had a feeling she knew and either way she thought she wasn’t going to like this dialogue.
Anna frowned again and then shrugged slightly. She seemed to be thinking for a moment and then sighed.
“I needed to -- see for myself, I guess.”
Meg folded her arms across her chest, something she’d come to realize over time was something she did as a defense mechanism. “See what?”
Yeah, no. She really didn’t like this line of conversation already.
Anna smiled then and Meg felt something of the animosity deflating. “For the record, Castiel sometimes has a brain-mouth filter issue.”
The main consolation was that apparently the Winchesters hadn’t yet encountered this issue.
She gathered this mostly from the fact that she was still alive.
“And he just -- blurted out that --”
That what? Meg stopped. That was unsettling. She didn’t like others around her knowing what was going on before she herself had worked out what was going on.
Because other than sex there was. . .something else going on.
Because otherwise she wouldn’t keep letting Clarence hang around just because he was bored or lonely.
And she wouldn’t keep texting him because she wanted someone to talk to.
She sometimes worried she was just really fucking lonely.
Anna shook her head. “Not exactly. I knew he was seeing someone.” She hesitated. “Actually, I thought it was -- err -- someone else.”
A corner of Meg’s mouth quirked up. “I’ll bet.”
The angel talked in his sleep sometimes.
Anna shrugged and came forward now that she seemed certain Meg wasn’t going to bolt.
“It was either he told me who it really was or I started making assumptions.”
“So he told you --”
“Well, I was sitting on him at the time.”
Meg snorted inelegantly and Anna shrugged again.
“Yeah. Anyway, it was either he told me the truth or I told other people.” Here Anna hesitated. “I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal, but he got sort of --”
Anna’s mouth opened and then closed.
Anna hesitated again.
“I knew your name and vague stuff from things Sam and Dean had said, but --”
“You needed to see for yourself,” Meg finished. “I appreciate being treated like a sideshow.”
“I didn’t mean it like that.”
Yeah. Meg knew that. But she also didn’t like being caught off-guard and right now she was really off-guard.
She would have liked to have been informed that someone else knew. He could have freakin told her.
Of course. . .it had never occurred to her because Meg didn’t really have many people -- demons or humans -- these days that she interacted with.
So, really.. .it had never crossed her mind that Clarence did and that it might become an issue.
She had -- of course -- realized he’d never told his precious Winchesters.
But she’d never given thought to the notion that there were others besides the Brothers Grimm for him to interact.
Let alone other angels.
Which she should have, because he’d mentioned Anna before. . .
Meg had assumed his sequestering from Heaven would include her as well.
She realized that Anna had said something and Meg frowned.
Anna opened her mouth and then closed it again.
She appeared to think for a moment.
“I said be careful.”
Did not, Meg thought. She could tell by the hesitation.
“The only reason you’ve been left alone is because one demon who got thrown aside by Lucifer isn’t an issue right now.”
“But if either side thinks you have info from those who are trying to stop them, you’ll end up on their radar.”
Meg started to say that they didn’t ever talk about that. She wanted to say that it was none of Anna’s goddamned business.
She didn’t get to say anything because there was suddenly a rush of air and Anna wasn’t there anymore.
Well. . .shit.
She was roaming around and around the room in a manner not unlike a caged animal.
And Meg wasn’t one hundred percent certain she liked that analogy, but it was pretty damned accurate, so she shrugged and continued her path.
She didn’t handle being ignored very well.
And if he didn’t answer her right now she was --
Anna shifted from one foot to the other, looking like she might be vaguely uncomfortable.
Meg rolled her eyes. “Oh nice. Did he send you to see how pissed I was?”
Anna frowned, opened her mouth and then closed it.
“No. No, not -- not exactly.” She paused. “Something’s happened. Um --”
Anna paused a moment. “I’m not completely sure about all of it, but there’s a problem. We have a --”
Meg raised an eyebrow at this. “We?”
Anna shrugged. “They --”
“They being Sammy and Deano.”
Anna smiled slightly. “Right.”
“Of course.” Meg flopped down onto the side of the bed.
Anna hesitated again and then came over to sit down next to her.
“There was um. . .a situation. Sam and Dean were shot --”
Oh. That was probably why he wasn’t answering her.
“How is that any different from any other time?”
A corner of Anna’s mouth quirked up. “True.” She laughed slightly. “Either way, Cas is trying to. . .um. . .help them.”
Something about the way this was worded made Meg think there was infinitely more going on than what the angel had just told her.
Meg glanced down at her cell phone and then looked back up at Anna, who was watching her with a head tilt that made Meg want to laugh.
That would explain why she wasn’t getting a response to the sixteen *poke* messages she’d been sending for the last half hour.
Meg tossed her cell phone onto the bed and turned back to look at Anna.
She waited a moment and when it was obvious the angel wasn’t going anywhere, reached out to pick up a local take-out menu sitting by the phone.
No point in wasting the room.
Meg flipped open the menu and glanced up at Anna.
“Do you like Chinese?”
The change in the air alerted Meg to the angel’s presence before she even turned around.
Although it wasn’t the angel she was expecting.
Anna was standing with her arms folded, staring at her with a look that Meg took to be annoyance.
Meg waved her cell phone at Anna once slowly.
Anna frowned harder now and then seemed to realize she was doing it and relaxed a bit.
Meg raised an eyebrow at her and then gestured slightly towards the only chair in the tiny apartment -- which she was squatting in, but the real owner sure as hell wasn’t coming back and there was no need to tell the angel any of this.
“Problems?” Meg said after a moment of Anna simply standing in the same place. “I could be --”
“Have you talked to Cas?”
Meg blinked at this. Not in a few days. . .not since. . .
“Not since he got his boyfriend back from the dead,” Meg answered. “Why?”
Anna frowned now, either at her statement or at the use of the word “boyfriend”, Meg wasn’t sure which. Really, she made the same kinds of comments to Clarence, and he never really reacted either.
Apparently, it was that thing no one talked about. . .
“He apparently isn’t taking certain. . .things very well.”
Meg wondered what good it did Anna to be coming to her for information if she wasn’t allowed to tell Meg anything.
Fortunately -- or unfortunately, depending on how it interfered with Meg’s plans -- Clarence didn’t have that problem.
“He told me,” Meg said, opening the liquor cabinet with a click. She turned back to look at Anna now. “So sorry to hear your dad’s a deadbeat.”
A corner of Anna’s mouth quirked.
Meg rolled her eyes and pulled out the bottle of Evan Williams from the back of the cabinet.
Clarence had turned up in -- San Francisco, Meg thought it had been -- angry, hurt and completely depressed maybe a day or two after he’d blown her off to save Deano’s ass from what Meg had gathered was Heaven.
It wasn’t that she’d taken advantage of his mental state -- although, she had of a sorts, it was just that he was so much more pliant when he was in that kind of mood.
She’d been almost asleep when he’d suddenly stopped twisting her hair around his fingers.
“What does one do when they realize their faith has been misplaced?” He’d suddenly raised up on his elbow to look at her clearly. “What did you do?”
Meg had frowned and pulled her hair out of his grasp. She’d considered leaving him there to pick up his own pieces, but then something about his facial expression stopped her.
She thought for the first time since -- ever, he was asking her an honest to -- err -- goodness question that he wanted an answer to.
Meg had shrugged her shoulder slightly. “I got pissed,” she said after a moment’s thought. “I’m still pissed,” she’d continued. And when this didn’t seem to have any effect, she’d shrugged and then laid back down next to him.
“Then I went on a three day bender.”
Meg now faced Anna and put down the bottle of whiskey. “I take it that whatever he’s doing has involved a fuckton of booze?”
Anna nodded slightly. “Dean’s mad and Sam’s confused and all I could think was, ‘this has Meg written all over it’.”
Of course, because Lucifer forbid their resident choirboy find his own way to temptation.
He’d sought her out on his own the first time.
Meg shook her head now. “He’ll sober up.”
She grinned and held up the bottle of whiskey.
“Wanna try it?”
“Meg, we need to talk.”
Meg stopped in mid-step around the corner and turned back to look at Anna.
“I’m gonna tie a bell around you, you know,” Meg said.
It wasn’t that she cared that the angel turned up without warning.
It was just that she would like to have a warning.
She’d only recently adjusted to Clarence turning up without warning, his siblings could cease and desist at any time.
Although Meg supposed she should count herself lucky that it was only Anna and not anyone who actually meant to do her harm.
It still didn’t mean she had to like the constant interference.
But it did occur to her that Anna only ever showed up when for some reason Clarence couldn’t do so himself.
Which meant --
“Oh, Hell, now what’s he done?”
And now that Meg looked closer, she noticed that Anna’s eyes looked red-rimmed and bloodshot. The kind of look humans got when they had been spending a great deal of time crying.
Or doing a lot of drugs, but Meg didn’t really think that was Anna’s style.
Anna took a deep breath and Meg suddenly wanted to cover her ears.
“Cas is dead.”
Meg’s ears were suddenly buzzing and Anna was sobbing, but she managed to discern the words, “Dean”, “Adam”, “angels”, “Van Nuyes” and “exploded”.
Wait. . .
Meg felt like someone had snatched the ground out from under her and it didn’t help that Anna reached out to touch her as she swayed. . .
And suddenly they were on the floor of some room in some hotel and all Meg wanted to do was disappear, to take a vacation to all points due nowhere until she could sort out what was going through her own mind.
And she wanted to accuse Anna of lying, but she didn’t think you could fake that kind of waterworks.
Well, she could, and frequently had, but the angel seemed in earnest.
And Meg’s stomach was hurting suddenly and she wasn’t sure she liked that.
Nor did she like the lump that was coming quickly into her throat and she didn’t appreciate the knowledge that when that lump dissolved she was going to succumb to waterworks herself.
What she really wanted right then was a drink.
She wanted to hit someone.
She wanted to grab her phone and call just to make sure.
Actually, yeah. . .that wasn’t a bad idea. . .
Meg scrounged into her pocket to pull out her cellphone and hit re-dial.
Anna looked up at her, looking bewildered. “What are you doing?”
Meg frowned at her, but the phone was telling her that the caller she was trying to reach was out of their coverage range.
She put the phone down very slowly and a tiny voice in the back of her mind said that all this proved was that Clarence was somewhere where his phone couldn’t receive her call.
But he’d received her call in freaking Heaven for fuck’s sake, the only way his phone wouldn’t be able to pick up her call now was if it. . .
A nasty feeling settled into her stomach and mind at this and Anna was looking at her as if she were suddenly concerned, tears drying on her cheeks as she reached out to touch Meg’s arm again. . .
Meg tried to swallow. Found it difficult, and then tried again before dropping the phone to rush to the bathroom.
“I’m gonna be sick.”
“I owe you a kick in the throat,” Meg said, not bothering to slow down or even stop when the familiar rush of wings announced Anna falling into step next to her.
Anna shrugged. “I know. And if it’s any consolation -- I wasn’t happy about the news either.”
Not dead. Just human. Which had amused Meg in ways that Clarence hadn’t found terribly funny.
Nor had he found it funny when she’d spent twenty minutes flinging obscenities at him when he’d called her.
Anna had sort of steered clear of her since then.
Meg frowned at Anna.
“I was talking about the Van Nuyes mix-up.”
“Oh.” Anna looked startled.
“Right that. Sorry about that.” Anna shrugged her shoulders slightly. “If it’s any consolation, I was operating under what we were all thinking.” She paused. “I just thought, ‘no one will think to tell Meg’. I didn’t want you thinking that he was ignoring you --”
“Which he does all the time.”
“Or hadn’t cared to tell you.”
Wait. Tell her what? That he was dead? That would have been difficult. . .
“Tell me what?”
Anna sighed and Meg rolled her eyes. “Let’s find a bench. Is this going to take a long time?”
Anna grinned and followed her towards the tiny Italian restaurant on the corner.
They ordered quite a bit of wine and drank their way through it fairly easily.
Easily enough that their waiter was watching them nervously.
“So the reward for saving the world is to go back to being a mindless drone,” Meg said around her sixth glass of wine. She wondered if they’d give her whiskey.
Anna frowned at this. She wasn’t drunk. . .for that matter, neither was Meg, but the alcohol did give a nice blurry feeling to everything.
“I don’t think Cas thought of it like that,” Anna said, suddenly defensive and loyal and Meg wanted to roll her eyes, because that wasn’t what she’d meant.
“Calm down, angel,” Meg said, causing the waiter to raise an eyebrow and beat a hasty retreat. “I wasn’t calling you one.” She paused. “I wasn’t calling him one either. I just -- why? Why go back to what you’ve said yourself was a crappy time?”
Clarence had started talking to her about things a lot more since the California debacle -- alcohol had a much easier effect on him after he’d lost his mojo; he was also just a lot more maudlin. And what he didn’t tell her, Meg had gotten from those awful pulp novels about the Winchesters.
Anna looked startled. “Heaven’s a mess. Someone has to try to do something.”
Here she stopped, because her tone lacked any sort of conviction. Meg frowned. “Why are you going back?”
Anna shrugged. “I’m just --”
“Homesick,” Meg said suddenly.
Anna frowned, nodded after a moment and then sighed. “Yes.”
Clarence had been too. Meg had started to notice it more and more as the months had worn on and she’d wondered that the Winchesters hadn’t picked up on it.
They probably hadn’t picked up on the fact that Clarence was going around offing his family while they were trying to save theirs either.
But yet they accused demons of being unfeeling.
Meg frowned hard into her wine for a moment and then shrugged her shoulders, picking up the bottle to fill up Anna’s glass.
“You’re going back to help him.”
Anna frowned now, but then nodded. “There is no one else.”
No one else who would follow him back.
No one else who would willingly play messenger between him and a demon he wasn’t supposed to have contact with.
Meg frowned at her harder now. She’d missed that before. That loyalty. That devotion.
Anna. He’d always mentioned Anna.
And this Anna was always coming to tell her. . .things he couldn’t do himself. She'd turned up the first time because she'd needed to see. She came of her own volition. He'd never sent her. . .
Anna had always looked at her strangely. But Meg had never placed it before.
Angels were supposed to be so good after all.
But then they fell and lost that celestial quality. Grace or. . .
They became human and human emotions complicated things.
Meg snorted suddenly.
And you didn’t forget. They didn’t forget any more than demons did, although they never claimed to unlike demons.
Meg squared her shoulders and leaned back in her seat.
She reached out to pick up her own glass of wine.
“Good,” she said after a moment and Anna raised an eyebrow at this.
Meg smiled slightly.
“I was getting really tired of you angels turning up without warning.”