No Refunds

Chapter 29

Being possessed by an angel is no fun. The bored might daydream of it, the kinky may lust for it, some uber-religious nut jobs might love the idea of it; being so holy, so special to God, that they are chosen to be host to a celestial being, but if they ever actually had the chance... once you're in it, you'd rather be dead.

It's not just the fact that you're no longer in control of your body. That is annoying as hell – watching as someone else controls you, moves you, speaks with your voice out of your lips, kills people in front of your very eyes... that's horrific. But it's more than that... being pressed again, squashed infinitesimally small in your body against a being so huge, so magnificently massive is pure torture; the burning, blistering pain of it all as you're clung to both a black hole and a burning star... it's more than any human can deal with, but they just can't stop. It's no wonder the empty vessels are found, near dead, brain dead, discarded. They're not human anymore; they're a drooling shell.

But Castiel the angel was weak. He didn't start out as the strongest angel in the garrison, and despite being a high riser, he fell, and he fell hard. The being that forced its way into Livvie's body was not the bright, shining star that it had once been, it was a feeble firefly.

Merely hours after Castiel first jumped in, her body was hers once again. She was vacated and left panting in the mud, a wealth of new knowledge crammed into her head. And answers to that which she had been searching for.

She screamed, she shouted, she threatened. The angel that murdered her father in cold blood was standing in front of her, healthy, whole, consequence free of the sins he had committed, whilst her Father, her wonderful, loyal, Father, was killed and his vessel was left to rot.

But he was strong and she was weak. She couldn't do anything to hurt him; him or his little once-hit-twice-shy puppy dogs. Not until she was strong again; she could destroy him then.

She stole their car. It was easy enough; she had learnt some human tricks back in her rebellious, teenage phase. She stole their rusty piece of crap and drove it away fast, as fast as the little engine could take. She drove aimlessly, unsure of where to go, no idea of the way back. She was lost, she had nothing left but the clothes on her back and a stolen car... not to mention a ton of emotional baggage.

The road became blurry. She gripped tight onto the steering wheel, focusing on the tarmac in front of her, the trees that lined the street. But it became harder and harder. She wiped her cheek furiously with the back of her hand, but within seconds it was once again covered with tears.

She stopped the car, pulling over onto the grass verge. Gripping onto the steering wheel she leant over it, forehead resting heavily as tears streamed down her face, and racking, coughing sobs escaped her. She was alone. Her only, last shred of hope was gone; the man that her Father had trusted above all, the one that he would trust his daughters safety to, was the one who killed him.

She was all alone. She had nothing.

Nothing but revenge.

~

She drove into the nearest town, heading straight for the nearest bar. She'd managed to find a few dollars in change rattling around in the car, but she really struck lucky when she checked the book after she parked. Not more money, unfortunately, but the Winchesters hunting equipment. The trunk was packed full of the stuff, guns, rope, salt; everything. She grabbed a gun, a nice big bottle of holy oil, and an angel blade. Goldmine. Shoving them into a grimy bag she also found laying there, she then flicked through other bags at random, finding random bits and pieces, nothing too important; though when she found pages covered in Enochian sigils and writing, she grabbed them too - she was fairly fluent in the language, and there was a lot to read there; it may come in handy.

Feeling that she had raided all there was to raid in the car; she took the bag and slung it over her shoulder, slamming the trunk. She kicked the car for good measure, before sauntering into the bar, smiling at the name of the place - 'The Angel'.

She sat down on a bar stool, flashing her pearly whites at the bartender who obediently walked over.

"Vokda." She requested simply, and the guy opened his mouth to ask with what, before she flapped her hands at him. He poured it for her, and she knocked it back, before beckoning for more.

"Sure you don't want to mix that with anything?" He asked her, eyebrow raised, but she shook her head.

"Why sully the taste?" She shrugged. "What's your name?"

"Tom." He told her.

"Well, grand to meet you, Tommy." Livvie smiled wryly. "Keep the drinks coming."

"Hard day?" He asked, as he poured her another.

"You could say that." She downed her drink and looked at the boy. "Look, Tommy; you don't have to do the sympathetic ear thing to me. I don't care. I don't want it. I'd rather just drink in peace tonight." She looked up at him. "As delightful as you are, and, frankly, you are lovely on the eyes... I'd prefer my own company."

He shrugged nonchalantly, disappointed, but not offended. "Whatever you want. Another?"

"Yes, please." She agreed, ignoring the looks that she was getting from drinking so much straight alcohol so quickly. Even as a human, her metabolism far exceeded everyone else's.

A few drinks later, and the drinks were perhaps starting to kick in. Her vision was becoming slightly blurry at the edges, her head softening like cotton wool. Not by much though. It didn't dull her senses enough for her to not notice what was happening outside. She could see through the window, she could see Dean Winchester looking at the rusty car, peering through the windows.

Turning quickly to Tommy, she flashed her brightest smile. "Darling; if you bring me to the back room, I will definitely make it worth your while."

He raised an eyebrow. "I thought you didn't want company."

"Can't a girl change her mind?" She cocked her head, letting a few strands of hair fall coyly across her face as she leaned forward onto the bar a bit, exposing just enough cleavage to persuade the boy.

~

Hours later, Dean Winchester finally left the bar, and Livvie was free to leave the back room. Honestly, there was only so much a girl could do to keep herself occupied. She had bored quickly of the man's advances, and left in a hurry, as soon as she heard the car pull away. She walked fast, bag slung over shoulder, pondering what to do next.

She was tired. It had been a long day, and although she needed less sleep than regular humans, there was something very soothing about being able to pass out for a few hours. She craved that peace right then, that serenity, even it was only for a short amount of time. She wanted to forget. She wanted to stop.

Walking along the road, keeping an eye out for the shorter Winchester, she noticed a car parked only a few meters away. Shiny red and sleek, it was beautiful; not like the rustbucket earlier. Of course, it would be smart to go for another crappy car, but as she neared it she began to fall in love with that metal stallion - the smooth curves, the slightly darkened windows, the nicely shaped headlights, giving it a nice face.

Who cared about smart. She was taking the car.

She broke in easily, jimmying the window and bypassing the alarm. She started the engine swiftly and rolled down the window, letting the cool air pick at her hair as she picked up speed, rolling down the tarmac road with ease. Going like this for about ten minutes, she hit another town, and followed the roads until she hit the more upmarket side of it, the houses with the fancy gardens, the spacious grounds and the beds with soft sheets. She was going to treat herself.

She knew how to spot if a house was empty. She could see within a few minutes if the family was in, she could tell which houses had gone on holiday and which had stayed. Despite her Father's dislike of the way she chose to spend her teenage years, it sure was coming in handy right now. Street smarts; far more useful than anything ever found in a book.

She broke into number twelve, a house that was practically a mansion after the motels. Parking the car around the back so as not to arouse suspicion from any nosy neighbours, she let herself in quietly, using the same technique as she did to get into the car. Shutting off the alarm quickly, she headed straight for the fridge, plucking a beer and a chocolate bar out and slumping down into a sofa. It was plush and soft, and she almost felt like going to sleep right then and there - it was far comfier than what she had been sleeping on for months.

She turned on the TV and cracked open the beer. Curling her feet under her on the sofa, she channel surfed, watching old reruns of a TV show filled with beautiful people with petty problems. It was annoying, and it was soothing.

After a couple of episodes she turned it off and slowly climbed upstairs, crawling into the first bed she could find. It was a double bed, with soft, creamy sheets and beautifully decorated furnishings. She fell asleep almost instantly, and to anyone who would've walked in right then, she looked for all the world like a normal, human, little girl.

~

The peace she had longed for didn't come. Though, perhaps, what arrived was better.

When Castiel had jumped into her, she had sifted through his memories. She thought she had seen enough, all she had needed to. She hadn't been thorough enough; thankfully, the information she had needed stuck.

Her dreams plagued her from the instant she closed her eyes. She saw it, she saw the Enochian sigil, wet and red. She saw the actions she needed to take, and she saw herself. She saw the part of herself that was missing, and she knew where it was.

She woke up bolt upright, breathing heavily as she processed the information.

It seemed obvious now. Her Father had cruelly snatched away her grace, but he would not have put it so far out of her reach that she could not get it back if she truly needed it. He had protected her when he had needed to; when he believed his life to be in danger, he made arrangements.

And he gave her something. The night that Castiel found Balthazar, the night that she had been locked in the basement, he gave her a necklace. It was silver, shining, and in the curved shape of 'M', the Enochian symbol for love. It had been her mother's, he had told her.

In a fit of random rebelliousness and mild inebriation, she had removed it from the chain and put it on a charm anklet. It had sat there ever since.

Shimmying off her boot, she looked at the small piece of jewellery. It wasn't much to look at; she couldn't see anything more there than a simple piece of silver. But that was it. That was what she had been looking for.

~

She didn't have much time for the ritual. It had to be performed at sun-up, which was barely any time at all. But she had the ingredients.

First she drizzled a circle of holy oil on the floor. Then, with a box of matches held nearby, she summoned. She summoned the nearest angel possible. Anyone would do. She wasn't picky - they were all the same to her, all of them were dicks.

Though perhaps this was a wild generalisation.

The angel to land was that in the body of a small girl. She recognised her almost instantly - it was Zedkiel, Castiel's friend from earlier; the angel of forgiveness.

Unperturbed, she lit the circle the second the angel landed.

"Oh." The little girl looked around, holding her skirt so that it would not inadvertently catch alight. "Well, that's mean."

"Zedkiel." Livvie nodded to the little girl.

The angel smiled. "Hi." She looked around, peering at the flames. "Who are you?"

"Doesn't matter." She said. She stuck her fingers into the jar of oil and started to smear the grease across her skin, shivering as the cool air hit the damp.

"I'm sure it does." Zedkiel replied, watching Livvie. "Are you doing what I think you're doing?"

"I'm finger painting." Livvie sniped. She didn't look at the angel, not relishing the job before her.

"I don't think you are." Was the retort. "You're no ordinary human."

"No, I'm not." Livvie sighed. Her fingers were now across her chest, tracing old patterns, words and symbols across herself, fingers working on instinct, on second hand knowledge.

"You're a Nephilim." Zedkiel said. "Though, without your grace."

"Bingo."

"And now you are taking it back."

Livvie, having now completed the patterns, knelt down and snatched the charm from her ankled, placing it on the table in front of you. "I have no other choice. You can't stop me."

"Did you hear me asking you to stop?" The angel said kindly. Livvie finally looked at her, confused by the passivity in the angels tone. "It is you who seems to be unhappy at the circumstance."

Livvie straightened up, furrowing her brow, taken aback. "Do you expect me to be looking forward to this? It's necessary, but it's not exactly how I'd like to be spending my Friday afternoon."

"I fear it's going to be far worse for me."

Livvie's face softened as she blinked furiously several times. "I'm sorry."

"I forgive you." The angel said, and Livvie looked up again.

"So easily?" She scoffed. Picking up the angel blade from the table, she turned it in her hand.

"It's in my nature." The little girl smiled. "You have me rather trapped."

"Why aren't you fighting this?" Livvie asked. "You could over power me. I'm still just a human!"

"Oh, dear." The angel shrugged. "Because, what else is there to do?"

"Other than dying?"

"Angels are born to follow, yet now we have no leader."

"Heaven's not all it's cracked up to be, then?" Livvie sighed.

"Anarchy, my dear. It is such a shame we do not know what to do with our new found freedom." She smiled. "But enough about me. Tell me why I'm here."

"For the ritual."

"But why are you performing it?" She asked. She went to take a step forward, but remembered the flames. "What unhappy chain of events led us both here?"

"I'm not giving you my life story." Livvie snapped.

"I feel I have the right to know." Zedkiel sighed. "It seems only fair."

Livvie winced slightly, acknowledging her words. "My name is Olivia."

"And your parent?"

"Balthazar."

"Oh, I had no idea!" Zedkiel looked shocked. "Such a naughty boy."

"You know he's dead?"

"Of course." The angel bowed her head in sorrow. "I am sorry for your loss."

"Right." Livvie turned around. Facing the window, she could see the dim horizon growing steadily brighter, the sky turning a dull blue as the sun approached. She placed the silver blade in her hand and sliced it quickly, barely wincing. There was no point in crying over a flesh wound - it would be gone soon enough.

"What do you intend on doing with your grace?" The angel asked as Livvie began to smear blood across the glass.

"Revenge."

"Oh. I don't approve of that."

"No, I doubt it. It's not really in your job description, is it?"

"Who are you enacting this upon?"

"Castiel." Livvie said simply, and could see the little girl stiffen in her reflection.

"Castiel? What did he do to deserve this?"

"He killed my Father." Livvie told her, still painting. "I think that's reason enough."

"Perhaps not."

"Not to mention the fact that I need his grace."

"You are performing more than one ritual?" The girl asked. "You are ambitious."

"In about five minutes I will be more powerful than any of the angels in the garrison, combined." Livvie snapped. "I need to do this."

"I don't suppose you've considered forgiveness?"

"Forgiveness won't bring my Dad back." Finishing the sigil, she glanced at the horizon, keeping an eye on the sun.

"I can see you, child." Zedkiel said. "You have great capacity for love in that heart of yours. You might want to consider sharing it with someone other than your Father."

"Watch who you're calling child," She snapped. "Or have you not noticed the fact that you're wearing a little girl?"

"You are so very young, Olivia." The angel sighed. "Do you wish for so large a sin to be on your conscience?"

"I'm doing what I have to do!" She yelled.

"You do not have to do anything."

"Then I'm doing what I need to." Livvie took a step closer to her. "Why should he live while my Father is dead? Why does that backstabber deserve to live?"

"He killed your father."

"Yup."

"I fear I cannot stop you. Time grows short."

"That only just dawning on you?" Livvie looked out of the window, and her eyes widened as she saw the first sliver of true sunlight on the horizon. "Get out."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me." Livvie turned back to the angel. "Get out of her."

"Why are you asking me to do this?" She tilted her head to the side, eyes wide.

"Because I don't want to kill a little girl." Livvie took a step towards her. "She's innocent in all this."

"Whilst I am guilty?"

Livvie gritted her teeth. "Please."

The girl blinked, peering out of the window. Watching the sunrise with wide eyes, full of wonder and light, and a million-million years. Sighing slightly, she looked back to the woman in front of her, the young lady with big plans. "I hope I do you some good."

For a second nothing happened. Then the little girl bowed her head, closing her eyes and sighing. Suddenly, her head snapped up, her eyes wide open, exhaling. Bright light filled the room, blinding, hostilely bright, coming from the girl. This light would blind a normal human, burn their eyes out of their sockets in an instant. Not Livvie.

The angel stood apart from the child. Huge, yet suddenly so feeble, fragmented and weak alone in this environment without shelter.

A flash of the blade from Livvie and the angel doubled over. The silver only partially made contact, the angel not being quite of this realm in this state. But it hurt enough.

The blade twisted, and Livvie reached in, grabbing what she could. Turning fast, she took the charm from the table with the other hand, and moving with ease she rushed for the window, slamming both hands against the still-wet sigil. She hit too hard, the glass shattered under the pressure, but it was enough, the deed was done.

She felt it surge. She felt the power enter her body, she felt the sense of completeness fill her, submerge her, burning light roaring through her veins, feeling it tickle and tingle and burn. It raged over her, her body, for a second, overwhelmed by the strain of taking in this grace, but it remembered, it remembered how to do it. She remembered how it felt, to move with grace and breathe with grace and to look through the grace.

She was home.

When Livvie turned round, the angel had vanished. Dead, or in heaven, she didn't know.

She turned to the little girl still in the flame circle, noticing her eyes wide with terror. She waved a hand lazily, and the flames went out.

Livvie knelt down so she was level with the child.

"It's okay now." Livvie whispered soothingly. "It's gone. You're safe now."

The girl just looked at her with panicked eyes. "Where did they go?" She whispered. "Where did my friend go?"

~

Livvie took the little girl back to her parents. She had been missing for three months.

What does someone do when they have their powers restored to them? Livvie tried most things. She teleported. She cut open her hand and healed it again. She gave a blind man back his sight. She jumped off a cliff and she stole a drink.

But mostly she sat in a chair, thinking. Maybe it was the grace of the angel of forgiveness running through her veins, maybe it was just having her own grace back, or maybe it was just that she was so close to achieving her goal that she was starting to feel uneasy.

She had just, maybe, killed an angel. An angel that she harboured no ill feelings over, all in her mission to seek revenge for the death of her father. It did not sit well with her, any of it.

But she had still more work to do. She must push on.

Though she had the ability to teleport, she drove to a bar. She liked that car. And it would help keep up the pretence.

She followed Dean in. He was important. He was vital in her plan. It would be easier if she could get him on her side, but she didn't need that. She'd just needed him.

~

It went better than she could have hoped. Well, she didn't get to sleep with the Winchester, which would have been a fun way to pass the time, but she saw it all from afar. She saw Dean calling Cas, she saw the argument. She heard the unkind words that were spat, she felt the hurt feelings.

She knew the hurt that they were both feeling. But she couldn't let that stop her.

She followed Cas when he vanished. Carved ribs couldn't keep her away, not with her power.

She saw him land in the field, in the mud, on his hands and knees. She saw the angel sob, saw the tears fall, saw the hurt in the angel and the confusion at the horrendous harshness and intensity of this brand new experience.

But she couldn't let that stop her.

She grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. Flipping him over, she didn't take quite as much glee in the surprise in his face as she thought she would.

But she couldn't let that stop her.

"Time's up, Cassie." She forced a grin on her face, and quickly teleported them back to the house, throwing him into the oil ring from before.


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