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master of my fate

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This can't be happening. It isn't what Chuck wrote down, it isn't in his story. Er. Prophecy. Whatever. He says as much, trying to convince Dean and Castiel that there's no point. The angels will just fix everything like they did before, to make sure it things go according to what he wrote. Because everything he writes is prophetic law. Destined to happen. And he didn't write Dean and Castiel here, so they can't be here.

Castiel just shrugs and looks up at Dean. "Yeah, well... we're making it up as we go."

For a guy who's been writing down Heaven-ordered prophecies for a living, that should be a pretty terrifying thing to hear. But, you know, considering that the story he wrote ends with the Apocalypse? Chuck is okay with things going a little off script.

Raphael, on the other hand, seems to disagree, what with the blinding white light and the foundation of Chuck's house shaking under his feet and all. "Aw, man," Chuck gripes, "not again!" There's gotta be an easier way of... smiting, or whatever the archangel's trying to do here. Something more subtle. Less property damaging. Glass breaks somewhere in the house and Chuck winces. Way less property damaging, please.

"I'll hold him off, I'll hold them all off! Just stop Sam!" Castiel says, yanking Dean down to her level and smacking a palm to his forehead. He vanishes, and now it's just Chuck and Cas versus the wrath of Heaven. Well. Just Cas, really, since that wrath is intended to protect Chuck and his stupid world-ending story. Chuck looks at the tiny frail figure she makes and feels kind of sorry. A rebellious angel of the Lord in a preteen's body, about to die for a cause she was almost too late believing in, with no guarantee that it's even gonna work. What a sucky way to go, man.

He goes to give her a comforting pat on the shoulder, but she side eyes the crap out of him for even trying, so. Chuck's got nothing he can do here but bear witness to the end of Castiel.

Cas, for her part, stares at her hands, thinking. Chuck wishes for a moment that his prophetic visions came with some insight to the characters' thoughts, because like always he's got no idea what's going on in Cas's head. Something valuable-sounding falls to the floor, and Chuck's wishes turn to house insurance that would cover divine intervention.

"No. Not like this," Cas mutters, fists clenched, and a burst of light escapes her mouth and eyes, coalescing above her body into something... utterly beyond words. Not that that's saying much, given Chuck's abilities as a writer, but seriously. It's just beyond description, beautiful and terrifying and inhuman, and it shouts a defiant cry that rattles the walls before flying up to clash with the archangelic brilliance of Raphael. Chuck watches, squinting, but they're both too bright for him to make out where one starts and the other ends, until the smaller light flickers, fades, and then explodes in a supernova of color and sound that makes Chuck's teeth shake.

The ground stops quaking, and the light fades to normal levels.

There are tears in Chuck's eyes. He rubs them away and makes room on his couch for the girl to sit down. Claire, he remembers. Claire Novak. She lets him lead her to the couch without a fuss, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling. There's no trace of Castiel left there, not even the scorched wings left by the other angels when they'd died. Chuck figures that must only happen when they're still in a vessel. He digs out his laptop from under the debris on his desk, sighing when it refuses to turn on. Probably some kind of angelic EMP from when Cas...

He coughs a couple times, but it doesn't dislodge whatever's caught in his throat.

With no other option, Chuck grabs a ratty spiral-bound notebook off the floor and a ballpoint pen. He starts writing the changes Castiel made to the story. It's all he knows how to do, at this point.

"He saved me," Claire says quietly. "He would've lasted longer against the archangel if he stayed, but he left. He saved me."

With any luck, Chuck thinks, you're not the only one.