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After The Fall

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For the first month she was on Earth, she had been running. Running from her family, who wanted her to help seek revenge for what had been done to them, and running from her pain. Amriel was exhausted, hungry, and in desperate need to find somewhere safe. After she and every other angel fell from Heaven, thanks to Metatron, Amriel had taken the vessel of a 24-year-old art student that was going through an existential crisis and searching for a higher power. The girl was pretty; Amriel had realized this during her first few days on Earth. Men gawked at her fair skin, blonde hair, and big, gray eyes and they did anything she asked, whether it was buy her a meal or just give her money outright. Her vessel was small and petite, which was easy for Amriel to maintain and stay out of trouble. She had taken a vessel twice before and had no issues, but this time around Amriel found that she was weakened by her descent from Heaven. She needed to eat and sleep on a regular basis in order to keep her vessel functioning normally.

After taking a vessel, Amriel wandered, figuring out the many limitations that a human body had and becoming accustomed to being confined in such a small space constantly. She remembered the screams of her siblings as they all fell from Heaven, watching as they hurtled towards Earth at a speed that tore some to shreds. She could only imagine what some had suffered once they landed- if they had landed at all. She had been injured- her wings were damaged and so was her grace, but she was healing slowly just by being in the vessel she had found shortly after hitting the ground, so Amriel was doing her best to keep the girl's body safe while she was kept in a dream within her own mind.

The fallen angel had been sleeping alleys, women's shelters, and abandoned homes if she could, but nothing felt safe enough so she never stayed for long. She had gone from New York to Pennsylvania, where she stayed for a few days before making her way into Ohio and then Illinois. Whatever money Amriel could get her hands on went to the purchase of food and oxycodone, which she had first tried at a homeless shelter she had been residing in. Since she landed on Earth, she had started experiencing human emotions and the drugs helped her shut them out. After feeling the hopelessness and sorrow of being locked out of her home paired with the confinement of her vessel, Amriel wanted to do whatever she could to never feel that way. She had fled from the previous town she had been in because she couldn't pay the man that had been providing her pills. The man had brandished a knife and tried to scare her into finding some other type of payment, but Amriel used her own angelic blade to frighten him and she took all of the pills he had in his possession. Since they had met at his apartment, he was well stocked and she pilfered all of his drugs, which ended up being in the hundreds of pills.

After leaving his home she immediately headed for the nearest bus station. Amriel had made her way onto the first bus she saw, blending in with the crowd of people as they filed on, since she didn't have a ticket. Once she was tucked away in a seat at the back, the blonde swallowed about a dozen pills before dozing off for the duration of the ride. As an angel, it took a larger quantity for her to feel their effects, but it was worth it for her to not feel the anguish of being cut off from Heaven. She dozed in and out of consciousness, memories of her first encounter with fellow angels not long after they all fell filling her mind.

She had just left her vessel's apartment, a backpack full of things that she would need to survive- money, food, and a few pairs of clothes. These were all things Amriel discovered to be main necessities as she dug through her vessel's thoughts and memories, and once she had what she needed, the angel left the small apartment and wandered out into the busy streets of New York City.

Amriel walked around what she recognized as Central Park, taking in the sights and sounds of people walking dogs, jogging, and talking to one another on benches. She was so enthralled by everything that was going on- the smell of the grass, the rustle of leaves as the wind blew. The angel was looking around in awe when she saw the familiar glow of a grace, and as she grew closer and closer, she noticed that there was more than one. She found four of her siblings, all shouting at each other and arguing about what they should do.

"I have heard that others are joining Bartholomew. He will show us the way!" Hamael spoke, glaring at Daniel and Urim as he stood beside Sybil. His vessel was that of an older man, with graying hair and and a pair of black framed glasses sitting on the bridge of his straight nose. Sybil was a petite brunette that was pulled up into a tight bun, with piercing eyes and a scowl on her face. They all wore suits, and Amriel felt out of place standing so close to them all as they bickered.

"Bartholomew knows nothing," Daniel told them, shaking his head and frowning. "He wants us to live among the humans until we can organize ourselves. We need to find someone who will reopen Heaven. We need someone who will do whatever it takes to make sure we can return to the home we were taken from. Metatron and Castiel need to be punished for what they did."

Urim saw Amriel out of the corner of his eye and called her name, stopping her from leaving the grassy area they had been arguing in. The blonde froze, wanting to say something but unsure of what. Although they were her family, Amriel didn't know these angels very well. If they meant to cause her harm, she didn't think she could take on all four of them at once.

"Amriel, it's good to see you have found a vessel," Daniel greeted her with a nod. His vessel was a man in his mid-thirties, with thinning, brown hair and dark eyes, wearing a bright green tie. "We're about to leave to find others that wish to unlock the gates of Heaven. You should join us."

"Don't listen to him, sister. Come with us and join Bartholomew." Sybil implored the girl, who was now starting to regret approaching them to begin with.

"I- I do not want to fight anymore," she told them all, watching them gape at her for not wanting to seek out revenge. She had fought in the civil war between Raphael and Castiel, and she knew what it was like to kill fellow angels. Amriel never wanted to do that again unless it was her only option.

"You're making a grave mistake, Amriel. If you aren't with us, then you're with that traitor, Castiel," Urim hissed, drawing his blade. As soon as the blade caught the sunlight and flashed, Hamael and Sybil drew their blades as well and were advancing on the opposing two angels, completely forgetting about the blonde. She saw this as her chance to get away, so Amriel backed away slowly before turning and sprinting through the park to get as far away from them as possible. Their graces faded away as she continued to run, and once she felt like they weren't coming after her, Amriel slowed down her pace and realized  she  was alone again.

Amriel woke up hours later once the bus had stopped, and she briefly wondered where she was. When she quietly left the bus with her backpack in tow, Amriel immediately tried to figure out what town she was in. The sign at the station read Rexford, Idaho and she sighed in relief. She was nearly five states away now and she felt much safer than she had before. Of course, she had her blade with her, but so did her siblings. Amriel was not a soldier- her duties in Heaven were to watch over the humans that were born during the month of May. Thankfully she hadn't run into any of them since her run in with those four after taking her vessel- she didn't want to kill anyone, but she knew how to fight well enough to defend herself and she would if she had to.

The angel sat on a bench at the bus station and looked inside of her backpack, inspecting her provisions. She did get hungry and thirsty, but not as often as humans did from what she had observed. In her backpack she had an unopened water bottle and a few bags of chips, nothing substantial. She had a few dollars, ten at most. Amriel was still figuring out how currency worked now, but she knew that it wouldn't get her much. She would need sustenance soon, so Amriel began to walk towards town, where she knew she could find food and some sort of shelter. In other towns, she had frequented things called food banks and women's shelters, where she had been given food and a place to sleep. Amriel had come up with a story about being abandoned by her family as her reason for being homeless, and she was given the basic things she needed to survive at the places where she sought out help.

While she knew that humans did something called "hitch hiking", where people sought out car rides from strangers, Amriel was weary of participating in this custom. She didn't know where her siblings were or if they had access to automobiles, so she decided to stay safe and use public transportation and bus lines. So she walked for what felt like miles until she ended up at what she recognized was a type of Main Street, typical of the small towns she traveled to, where she saw the familiar sign of a Gas-N-Sip on the corner of an intersection. She had seen these stores before and knew that this place was filled with food and drinks, and Amriel had both purchased and taken goods from stores in several other towns.

Amriel walked into the store, ignoring the gust of autumn wind that followed her and keeping her eyes in front of her, making her way through the aisles and towards the pre-packaged sandwiches. Her vessel seemed to enjoy ham and cheese, so she looked for those first. The angel briefly considered purchasing the items, but she only had so much money and she didn't know if she would come by any more in the near future. She glanced around to see if anyone was watching before shoving a few sandwiches into her backpack, along with anything else she could get her hands on. Amriel knew that if she was caught and apprehended that she would be punished- stealing was a crime both in Heaven and on Earth, but she was usually able to either sneak out unnoticed, use her vessel's attractive appearance to distract the cashier, or brandish her blade to escape.

Zipping up her backpack as quietly as she could, she continued to look around the store as if she couldn't find what she wanted, and then she made her way toward the doors. She was almost to the exit and she felt her vessel's heart beating rapidly in her chest, something she recognized as adrenaline and she was busy thinking about the strange sensation when someone called to her from behind the counter she had been desperately trying to get past without being noticed.

"Excuse me, but I believe it is customary to pay for items at a store instead of taking them," a deep voice stopped Amriel dead in her tracks. That voice was so familiar- and when she turned to face the person that had caught her, her eyes widened and she tensed up when she realized just who that voice belonged to.