Dean Winchester is well known in the world humans call Supernatural.
Reapers have been whispering about him for years. The human has crossed paths with them several times, pushed away their outstretched hands that wanted to free him from all the burden he carries in his life. Michael never understood why. Or at least not in the whole complicity that is Dean’s life.
As a soldier, as a patron saint of paratroopers, policemen and soldiers he is well aware of one’s prayers in the battlefield. How many has he listened to throughout the existence of this dear world? How many wars have humans fought? How many fights against each other, against crime, against evil he is not allowed to wipe out just yet? He knew, dear God, he knew how much they cling to life, to the memory of their loved ones, how desperate their fragments of prayers are when they cry out for God, for a Father gone missing, and he felt every ounce of sorrow for those who prayed for the left-behind with their last breath. He always made sure that their Heaven was safe. Calm. To wipe out all the pain of their past life and only remember the joy. They had fought for it after all.
He only wished people would stop fearing Death. They had nothing to fear. Heaven was so much better. Not even foreign, not strange, not unknown.
Then there is his hunter. A soldier, best in heart and mind, and Michael feels that he can never have enough of him. An eternity would not be enough.
The angels don’t even dare to whisper his name, but secretly they know too. They know that this man, this tiny unimportant little life they might not feel worthy of their attention anymore is indeed the most essential in the Devine Plan.
Michael has never witnessed such a bright soul, such a beacon in the faint glimmer that is Earth, interlaced with the web of the human souls that live and die there. Dean is like lightning cutting through the night sky. Michael hasn’t seen such beauty since the Morning Star has fallen.
That light. That light was destined to belong to him.
The first time they only meet briefly.
A short brush of realities when death hits Dean by surprise. The Reaper already has its hold around Dean, and Michael gathers close, because he is curious to finally meet his vessel in person, but also nervous because it isn’t time yet.
Dean is young, so painfully innocent even with his childhood robbed from him. He experienced the most painful revelation of how fragile life is, but when it’s come to his own, he is all surprised and wide eyed. He is beautiful from this close. And so frightened.
With an aching throb in the core of his grace mingled with the thrill of the final meeting Michael is ready that when the time comes he will send Dean back to life. It isn’t his time.
However, before the Reaper can pull the hunter away from Earth, Dean’s jerked back to life. But not before he locks eyes with Michael, and in that look soul and grace reaches out –
And they only miss each other by a breath.
Dean’s heart is pumping, mind racing, lungs gasping for air. He is alive. Out of Michael’s reach.
It is painful.
A tear at Michael’s grace.
He can hide it underneath layers of power, or pride and cold armour, but it doesn’t make it go away. It is as if there has always been a hole in his being, a black hole among the constellations, deep but slumbering, breathing in small stars that venture too close to its mouth, but its true power only reveals when it tries to swallow the sun. It pulls, and strains when it can’t seem to be able to pull it closer, when that radiance that could finally light that hideous endless darkness within is still far away, unreachable and desirable. Now there is that tear in the golden fabric of grace. But there also are crystal droplets being breathed out in anticipation of a next meeting.
This pile of stardust keeps Michael alive. Because it is brighter than anything he has felt in a long-long while.
They meet like this several times.
Dean is a man who jumps into dangerous situations like one washes their face in the morning. Michael is always close; protecting him, keeping him on Earth, holding the Reaper’s hand long enough that medical help could bring Dean back to life and claim a miracle.
“Dad will tear me a new one for being this stupid,” Dean tells him once. Now he seems more frightened of his father’s wrath than from death itself. “I was meant to be the distraction, you know. Just run, catch the son of a bitch’s attention. Not to trip on my own feet and… Am I dead?”
He winces in pain. A red-hot searing pain that flashes from the wounds on his chest. Untreated, bleeding, bleeding. There is so much blood and pain!
Michael takes human form, because this foggy, grey-scale world of the Veil is an uncertain place and a presence he can see seems to soothe Dean. The archangel wants nothing but to end his dear hunter’s suffering. He meets Dean’s wide eyes, his own just as gleaming, and his mimicked throat feels tight, a lump in the way where he wants to swallow and he is cold inside while his eyes prickle with warmth.
“Because Dad would—he would be mad. Really mad. I- I don’t know, but he would- bring me back or something just so that he could kill me himself…”
“Don’t worry, Dean Winchester,” Michael tells him gently. “You are still alive.”
“Good. Good.” Dean stammers through the spasms of anguish ripping at the weak connection between body and soul. “…Do you know me?”
Michael smiles, but his lips are edged with deeper sorrow than the depth of space. “I know you, Dean. I know you well.”
He has to be careful, he reminds himself. He is an angel, and his true form even through an illusion can hurt his Righteous Man. It’s hard when he finds it hard to think. He reaches out, wonders where John Winchester is when his firstborn is dying, and envelops Dean in his arms, his wings spread out around them in a peaceful dome.
This one time the voice of the Viceroy of Heaven holds no power. It is barely above a broken whisper. The crack in his grace bleeds along with his precious human.
Several times, following history with a sorrowful heart has Michael wished his time would come sooner to bring an end to all the evil in the world. But he has never felt he could tear down the gates of Heaven in his rage at such wrongfulness. For a moment he is ready to ignore the Plan and gather his troops to march down into Hell and destroy it.
Then he remembers what has to be done.
Michael swallows his anger and bows his head. He is a good son. He will not commit the same prideful mistake as his brother did.
When Dean sells his soul it is dark and silent in Heaven. There has never been such thing since the Fall.
Dean comes to Heaven for real when the owner of the Mystery Spot shoots him in the chest.
When he opens his eyes next he is wrapped in the starry night in the Impala. He looks about himself confused. Something is off, but he just cannot pinpoint what. He gets out of the car and looks about. The trunk is open, and the thoughts flash through his mind that Sammy is supposed to have gathered all the fireworks by now.
To his surprise when he walks to the back there is no sight of his snot-nose little brother. A man is standing there, eyes bright, like a pair of burning stars, but they are sad, man they are! but there is a smile on his lips. It looks just as honest as his eyes.
“Who are you?” Dean demands. “Where is Sammy?”
“Always worried about your brother first,” Michael shakes his head. “He is fine. And you are, too.”
“Thanks, I wouldn’t have guessed. So, who are you, Master of Riddles?”
“My name is Michael. And you are in Heaven Dean Winchester.”
“In Heaven? There is no such things—” Dean’s eyes narrow at first, and for that moment Michael hopes that Dean would call him crazy, but almost immediately reality starts bleeding into his mind and his features contort in disbelief and fear. “That- that cannot happen. I just- sold my soul to a demon!”
Michael watches as those green orbs start to gleam.
“What awful trick is this? I could never come to Heaven.”
“You will Dean. This is your rightful place and no deal can separate you from here.”
“But Sammy.” Dean swallows hard. His eyes flicker to the skies to help him keep the tears from falling. “I’m going to Hell. I- I have to. But I don’t want to go to Hell!”
“It will be all right.”
“Nothing ever is in my goddamn life!”
“It will be.”
Michael reaches out and cups Dean’s cheek in one gentle hand. It breaks his heart how willingly Dean leans into his touch after the first instinctive flinch. His human is so hungry for the intimacy of such gestures, yet he never allows himself such luxury.
“Do you promise?” Dean croaks weakly.
“I promise.” Michael smiles softly. His thumb caresses small circles on Dean’s cheek and pulls him closer, slow, not to startle him until he feels Dean’s ragged breathing fanning hot on his face, his racing heart where their chests are pressed together. Green eyes flutter closed and Dean lets Michael shower him with caresses, soft breaths of kisses until he is ripped back to life.
The throbbing pain in Michael’s core is devastating, even so, because the closer they get the stronger their connection is and that broken is like one of his wings was torn from his back. But it’s also bittersweet, because now he also knows what it is like to hold his hunter’s soul close.
Michael knows that crack can be healed.
He is waiting for next time so that they can start where they were interrupted.
Dean’s soul rips through Heaven like a shooting star sooner than Michael expected, but that doesn’t change the anticipation he feels when he takes the same form he presented himself maybe a day ago.
This time Dean doesn’t even spare a glance at Michael. He joins Sam around the fireworks, lighting them and laughing, eyes crinkling as they set fire to the sky. As if the archangel wasn’t even there. He is brought back to life before Michael can reach out for him.
Dean acted just like every ordinary soul. Ignoring the angels’ presence and enjoying their own personal Heavens.
It hurt. It hurts.
One corner of Heaven collapses into itself with a deafening death scream and earth shudders beneath.
Michael prepares himself for the next time. He is a soldier and a strategist by creation. He knows when to wear armour to protect him from the edge of swords that only wait to tear into his grace.
The mighty clap of thunder is nothing compared to the sensation that strikes him when Dean’s soul is escorted in a flash into Heaven again.
This time he steps into a room, painted with light colours and pictures of unrealistically drawn animals with big gleaming eyes hung on the walls. The sound of a lullaby dribbles into the night, warm and soothing. Under the window there is a crib, Dean leaning over the side. As Michael treads further in and to the corner of the room he catches sight of the human’s face. It is serene. Wrinkles smoothed out no shadow haunts the depth of his eyes that took a deep, rich shade of green. It radiates the blessed love of a big brother looking down at his tiny universe.
In the distant depth of his grace there is a dull ache, a muffled roar of thick walls coming dangerously close to collapsing. Michael tightens his armoury, brings up new defences. He refuses the need to approach Dean.
Later, when Michael can already feel the tickling sensation of some unsettlingly familiar power and he is ready to take his leave to forgo the inevitable pain, Dean raises his head and his eyes find Michael.
“This is my brother,” Dean tells him. His voice is vibrant with pride.
“I know.” Michael replies, breathless.
“When he gets bigger we’ll play football in the garden, and Dad and Mom will have to get us a puppy if we ask together. We’ll play a lot. But I’m not gonna give him my pie.”
The pressure in Michael’s chest is growing.
After a short pause Dean adds, “I’m gonna take care of him.”
“I know.” Michael breathes into the empty room.
He shreds the confining illusion of a human form with the wounded cry of a collapsing galaxy.
“So, what are you doing anyway?”
“What do you mean?”
Dean makes some vague motions with his hand. “You know. In your free time.”
“I talk to you.” Michael gives back with the shadow of a smile.
“Yeah, sure, dude,” Dean laughs incredulously.
There has never been a brighter sound.
“What do you do in your free time?”
“Well, school is not really my thing, and it’s a pain to watch out for Sammy. I like tinkering around, though. You know, cars and mechanics. And polishing guns. That’s soothing. Who the fuck would have thought, huh?”
“Just sitting down and there is nothing but you and your faithful weapon.”
“Damn straight! If you have done it enough, it’s in your hands. Let me guess, umm, you are… maybe a shotgun type of guy? Or maybe old classic and colt?”
“Sword. I prefer to have my sword.”
“You must be kidding!” But as Michael only looks back at him with a cocked eyebrow Dean bursts into a wide grin. “Aren’t you a knight in shining armour!”
The grin quickly melts off his face when Michael leans close to him without any warning.
He has done it several times already. Embracing Dean, running his hands over him, mapping out all curves and dips and scars of the brilliant soul, kissing him and praising him. He has lost count how many times Dean had been ripped away from his hands and lips.
Michael places a light hand carefully on Dean’s bicep and their noses are only a thin inch apart. He is grateful that Dean doesn’t jerk away like he sometimes did; it’s only his breathing that grows ragged and shallow, he can feel the man’s cheek grow pink, his eyes droop and he can barely catch a strip of radiant green around the blown pupils.
Michael presses further, his kiss is like the breeze.
After he got over the first initial shock Dean pushes back, and Michael goes willing even if with pain slicing his grace, but the hunter follows. He sneaks a hand into Michael’s curls at his nape and pulls him back onto his lips, and into his shivering but firm embrace. Michael dives back into the sensation like a shipwrecked thirsts for fresh water.
Between gasps and silent whimpers Dean straddles Michael’s lap, his need hot and urgent pressed into Michael’s stomach. He keens with blessed ease when the angel sneaks his arm around his waist to pull him flush to his hard body. Dean is sucking on Michael’s tongue, grinding his hips down on his lap.
When he pulls back, just a little to take in the debauched sight in front of him Michael takes his desperate chance to feast his own eyes. The soul in front of him is vibrant with all the untameable force of desire. Dean’s form is lit up golden white that radiates the colour of passion and love, so fierce and so fascinating. Its radiance grips Michael, his own grace is hungry, roaring like the ocean in the storm to break loose and unite with its other half.
A deep, throaty chuckle brings him back from the edge of the abyss, and he only realizes now that meanwhile Dean has made a quick job at getting rid of both of their jackets and upper layers, and he is busy prying the shirt off of Michael. The angel only dazedly returns the smile, it probably is brighter and wider than he otherwise would allow himself, but Dean’s laughter lines are catching, mesmerizing and Michael is no exception to their charm. He obediently lifts his arms, but as soon as he is temporarily blinded by the black material he feels a peck, followed by the slight sting of a bite on his collarbone that moves down his chest. Before he could react he is blinded again by his dear hunter’s sheepish smug smirk and rosy, star dusted cheeks.
By the time he flips their position they are both naked, in their makeshift Eden on the memory of the edge of some parking lot in the country, but not just in the illusion of the physical sense.
Dean’s soul is bright; if they weren’t so different in nature he would even put Michael’s rough-forged burning grace to shame. They are the sun and the moon, one gold, and searing hot, burning and devastating in its rage, one gentle, caring and silver-soft but sharp and terrifying menace in the dark hearts.
The human soul doesn’t give up, he doesn’t surrender at the spark of Michael’s storm of grace. He pushes back, dances with him in perfect harmony. Dean opens up to Michael, and when the angel sinks in his arms wrap around the strong shoulders even tighter. As if he was the one with near infinite powers, wings that could envelop a planet Dean wants to embrace him, pull him deeper, back into his soft heat every time.
They ride together, shooting through galaxies, blinded by stars and each other’s light.
Dean is warm, Dean is home – Michael only wants to keep him in his arms, cradled to his chest forever, but the peak is coming, and this once time is not at his fingertips.
Michael buries his face in the column of Dean’s salty throat, drinks in his breathless moans, his wordless prayers, envelops his treasured in his glorious wings and cuts himself open.
Grace and soul burst together in perfect harmony—
Heaven shakes with a blood-curdling scream.
Raphael is uncharacteristically gentle in her call as she approaches the foot of her General’s throne.
“What is so important Raphael?” he asks tightly, fighting that neither his pain nor irritation shows.
Dean Winchester’s Heaven just collapsed, burst like a star at its last exhale. The black hole it has left among the myriad patches of heavens was still a tempting endless depth, pulling and tearing at Michael’s raw grace.
Purple blood clings to the broken shards of Michael’s chest-plate. It runs down in rich rivulets tainting the constellations of his seat pooling under his feet.
With sorrow clouding her piercing eyes Raphael carefully nears Michael. She runs tense, fearfully gentle hands along the ruffled, bloodied flight-feathers of Michael’s night-coloured wings. She realizes with a shudder that all stars, all fiery sparks had been ripped from them.
“I can’t watch you do this to yourself, Michael.” Raphael says.
Among his fingers, where his aglow, royal face lay hidden in his palm, Michael’s eyes glint down at her sharply.
“It’s none of your concern, sister. If this is all.” He trails off sharply, pulling his wings away from Raphael.
“Let me at least heal you!”
Michael remains proudly silent.
“You know that I respect you, Michael. I love you and I would follow you wherever you command,” Raphael stands and meets the burning eyes tall, and beautifully terrifying, “But don’t make me watch you fall as well.”
Her words flew like daggers into the open wound of Michael’s heart.
“You have become obsessed with this mortal soul.”
“He was created for me,” Michael says, straightening his stance to mask up for the slight tremor in his composure. “Father promised him to me, he is mine to keep!”
“He is your loyal, righteous Sword, I know. But not now, Michael. The time will come, and Father’s promises always fulfil themselves. We are marching for our goal, don’t get distracted now!”
After a long pause Michael casts his eyes to the crystal floor.
“But I love him Raphael.”
Carefully she edges closer again but doesn’t dare to initiate touch again.
“Loving too deeply at the wrong time is the most dangerous,” she says and watches as Michael’s grace tries to pull back into itself at the painful memory. “It blinds you, it makes you question and forget about the final goal. You have always taught us that we don’t serve ourselves.”
The heat has flickered out of Michael’s gaze. Now only infinite pools of sadness remain.
“You must stay strong, Michael. The strongest must suffer the most assault. He must bend but never break and stand up even stronger. You are our General. Our leader in the Final Battle. Would you attempt the pomposity of Lucifer? To think higher of yourself than God’s omnipotent wisdom?”
Michael stands from his seat. Even tattered and hollowed he is a noble sight towering galaxies over his sister.
“No. Of course not. We must follow the Plan. Let it play out perfectly.”
He pulls her up to stand, tilts her head and looks her deep in the eyes. There is a whole conversation, slow and ragged without words, and there are so many things that fly by each of them, but this is the closest connection they could get. They are the ones remained, faithful and unbroken. There had been too much desertion, too deep cuts of being abandoned and while it could never be restored to the Time Before they both cling to the tattered trust of brotherhood.
Memories of brightness and warmth, stars on golden canvas, the most beautiful emerald in whole Creation, laughter and tears, blood drops and a hand clasped on the shoulder, and the fleeting chance of being something else than a Sword are sealed away behind iron bars and in a teller guided thousand times better than the gates of Eden.
Michael leans down to place a kiss on Raphael’s forehead in silent gratitude.
He had been thorn by sorrow, he had been betrayed and abandoned, he had been forgotten and belittled. But he has a promise to cling to and a heart to steel.
Dean Winchester dies several times after, but there is no angel waiting to keep him company in his Heaven.
When Dean is dragged to Hell by the hellhounds Heaven is silent. Rain washes away the sound of swords sheathed, the clunk of armours as a garrison prepares to descend to the Pit for the Righteous Man.
The war-machine has come into action.
When they meet in the past Dean doesn’t remember him.
Michael doesn’t even find it in himself to feel saddened about it.
He doesn’t want to remember either. The time has come for his orders to be carried out and he won’t allow his heart to distract him anymore. He has lost way too much to love and he has had enough. It has to be over. It will be over, he has no doubts. With Dean as his sword – and why is the hunter so stubborn? Why can’t he remember their sweet times together? Why could he never remember? How well they fitted together? – Michael will be unstoppable, undefeatable. Evil will perish and Heaven will descend to Earth. Everything will be all right. Just as he promised.
A promise he only owed himself. Does it really matter after all this?
Just as he died when the hellhounds tore him to shreds, just like the time he nearly died before Sam jumped into the Cage pulling Michael along, just like all the previous times when he brushed paths with Death, the last time, too, Dean Winchester dies bloody.
Michael still remembers clearly the bruised, blood-bathed face.
This is a hunter’s way out. Bloody and ugly with his weapon in hand. A warrior’s death. Dean made peace with his end long ago. It doesn’t mean, however, that Michael has to.
He stops his hand just before he could brush over the swollen scarred cheek. This body doesn’t hold his Dean anymore. It is only a vessel bearing the Mark. Hideous reminder of Lucifer’s schemes of destruction. Michael doesn’t want to carve such picture of his beloved hunter into his memory. Also, his makeshift vessel cannot contain such tempest within. He must spare his rage for the one responsible for this.
The time in the Cage only served as a reminder that Michael isn’t such a stranger to torture as ones might assume. After all Lucifer learnt everything from him.
Metatron will pay.
He will pay for his jealousy, his petty play of God, closing down Heaven and ripping the wings of their sisters and brothers, but most of all Metatron will pay for what he has done to Dean Winchester.
Michael will teach him a lesson hundred times worse Lucifer had to endure in his solitary cell.
Then he will seek Dean out in Heaven.
He wonders if he will remember him this time.