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Castiel tells the Winchesters he doesn’t know what he will do.

It’s not untrue. Truth is all in what you mean to mean, you see. At the end? Castiel doesn’t know what he will do. As for tomorrow and the day after, though, he has a fairly good idea.

He finds clothes that do not make him feel cold all the time. White clothes. Because white is a good color for writing upon and he is blank. He is just an eye, an observer for the universe to write across. He gets himself a comfortable pair of sandals and then he goes to China.

Niwu, Jiangxi. Because in China the bees are not dying so fast.

He carries buckets of water and helps a kind old woman gather honey. He lets her teach him how to brew and serve tea, because it seems important to her. She feeds him, though he doesn’t really need it, but that seems important to her too.

Then in the afternoons he goes to the fields and he watches the bees.

And it is just as it was at the hospital. Everything is arranged perfectly, lines beside lines, vertices and cause and effect. Ordered chaos.

Castiel must cross his arms across his chest because, though he has promised himself he will not interfere, old habits are difficult to break. He rests on his knees and the mud of the fields writes on him.

The worker bees haul ass all day. Back and forth on linear paths, always the shortest distance to their next disaster. Green to hive, hive to anther. The weights they carry are enormous. They are dragged down every moment of their lives or else rushing to the next. Always in a hurry to reach their next burden.

Castiel gets stung. He watches the wind blow his tiny heroes off course again and again. Watches them struggle back to the road.

Sometimes, they die.

(And this is a secret. Sometimes he brings them back.)

It occurs to him only later that perhaps it would have been better to leave his bees to their peace. That perhaps it was cruel and selfish of him to make them live again. But now that he knows them it is so difficult to let them go.

And he can see the pattern, the map laid down by his Father. All do only as they are meant to do, only as he anticipated them to do. Not word by word or act by act. But nature by nature. That is how God made free will possible in his plan.

All choices lead to the same ultimate. Which sounds like a cheat, but Castiel sees now that the point is not the destination, it is the between parts. The ultimate only exists so that the journey can exist. A road that goes nowhere is not a road at all.

Balance. Elegant and immaculate.

Castiel does what he was always instructed to do.

“Watch,” the word said to him. He was put here to watch.

And his bees (he can see their tiny histories, written into the white of his cuffs, he can see himself in their stories, here and there, the footprints of his deeds on their behalf) carry on. And carry on. And carry on.

Wayward sons, those worker bees.

Watch them, said the Word to Castiel. And he has (their growth, their clever tongues learning to speak, their foolish hearts learning to love) and he does (from burden to burden across the land that God made for them) and he always will (as they age, as they learn, until they need him again.)

The physicists have begun to finally unravel a few fundamental truths. Castiel heard it through his sleep from a radio down the hallway as he waded in darkness at the hospital.

By watching events you change them. The observer always affects the observed.

(So you see, that is why he saved the bees. There is no such thing as non-interference.)

They carry on. And carry on.

He watches. He keeps his hands free from harm (someday he will need these arms for carrying) and upon his white pants the world is written. And upon his white sleeves the world is written. And upon his breast (where there is a honey stain he spilled learning to make tea, a testament to the work of the bees) the Word is written. As it was always written.

He understands it better now than he did in the early days.

Watch them.

Thunder and caffeine in their veins, they are driving down a black road to their next burden, shoulder to shoulder, wing to wing, his perfect bees.

Sam and Dean carry on.