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An Audience

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“Hello, Castiel.” She straightens the knot of her tie, the lapels of her smart suit jacket, smoothes thin fingers over the wrinkles in her skirt.

A smile curls her lips, painted deep red, shiny like the models in the magazine advertisements he’s seen, their skin altered to perfection, unreal and smooth, ugly for all their touted beauty. The same revulsion he used to feel upon seeing those glossy pages hits him when he looks at her, most of her too-perfect face hidden behind dark glasses. For all intents and purposes, she could be one of those falsified women, but she appears even more stretched and altered, a stark parody that is almost frightening in its wrongness. 

“Who are you?” The answer doesn’t matter. Whatever it is she has come for she will not be getting. 

“My name is Ms. White. I am a representative of a very special… branch of government,” she says, still smiling. “And it’s been decided that some new changes are to be implemented due to your new position.”

“I hold dominion over the Four Realms, yes.”

“Only four? Oh, yes, of course,” Ms. White chuckles to herself. “Well, I’m afraid this won’t do. You see, while the we admire your assertive attitude, you do not have the proper authority to elect yourself into such an arrangement.”

“If you’ve come to rebel against me, you should be aware you have no power in my Kingdom,” he tells her, quite calmly, even while his fingers itch with the need to smear her across the concrete of the roof. “No demon or angel can stand against me.”

“With all of that power inside of you, it’s hard to disagree.” Ms. White turns her head and surveys the stretch of land that sprawls into the horizon, dotted with brilliant lights so it looks almost like a reflection of the kind of night sky New York City never sees. “I’ve not come to challenge your power. I’ve come on behalf of my Department to discuss a few things with you.”

“Your department.”

“Oh, yes,” she says, her voice like very expensive crystal dragged over gravel. “I’m sure you’ve heard of us. I understand the… rumor mill whispers every so often.”

He doesn’t know from where she came, had only heard the sound of her heels on the air, echoing like gunfire, the only herald to this strange meeting. Crowley used to mutter about it every once in a while, when the shadows in Hell seemed to move on their own, when they felt eyes on their borrowed skin but could not find a culprit. “You never know why they’re there. But they come for you when no one’s around to help, and you know. Once they’ve come, you’re rather finished.” Even myths and legends have myths and legends of their own. 

But this is the finest absurdity. There are myths and then there is this silly story told in the corners of the universe, breathless little impossibilities stretched and twisted until the end never matches that of the beginning. 

“Whatever your business here, you’ve no right to seek an audience with me on vague terms like these —”

“Seek an audience?” Affronted amusement seeps into her tone, spilled holy water tainted with the dust and grit of the earth and sinking into the cracks. “Oh, Castiel. When have you become so self-important? Have you been so blind to our presence all this time? We were with you when you were spun into being. We were with you when you were dispatched to remove your Righteous Man from the Fourth Realm. We were with you when you met your first and second ends. We were with you in your battles, in your betrayals, in between the thighs of your Dean Winchester, in this regime of terror you have created for this small, insignificant speck.”

Something dark and world-shatteringly terrible crosses her face, and the cold threads of fear begin sewing themselves in small, immovable patterns across his soul. Somehow, somewhere, he knows this person and what she has come to do.

“You misunderstand your role in the scheme of things, Castiel. We don’t ask for permission from anyone, least of all you.”

Ms. White reaches into the breast pocket of her jacket and withdraws a small, white card, handing it to him, face painted once more with that same, maddening smile. 

 

 

“If it was our attention you wanted,” Ms. White says quietly, devastatingly, and Castiel feels the stolen spark of thousands of souls leaving him at her words. “Then you have it. And not for much longer.”