To each squalling newborn he whispers an apology, before he holds them under the chill water of the river. The cries of their mothers ring in his ears and he ignores them; there is no apology for them.
A sister, next to him, holds a child under the waves and her face is nothing. A brother walks from the house behind them, two babes in his arms, their mother clutching at his sleeves, and his face too is blank.
Cas feels the life leave the small body in his hands as the wailing peaks, louder and louder until his being is ringing with sorrow, and he pulls the babe from the water, cradled in his hands. Water drips from its limp arms, its clothes cling to its tiny body, its blue lips are still, and in him, in the resonating core of his grace, in the body of the poor fisherman he’s animating, he feels. He lays the body of the child in the water, gives him to the river, watches as the child sinks, and asks, deep within where the others cannot hear, if this is a thing that needs forgiveness.
If these are orders carried out that need to be forgiven.
If they even can be.
He is not a clean slate any longer, an empty obedient mind like his family standing knee deep in the water around him; in that moment, he is more, he feels some thing swelling in his grace, moving his limbs through the water to the shore, where a man stands, staring, wind stirred.
“Why.” The man asks, and blood runs into his lips from his broken nose; he fought this. “Why do you do this.”
Castiel stops and considers the man, feels his feet sink into the mud of the river bank, feels the water drip down his legs, feels the thing swirl through him, but he stops; this man fought.
“To cleanse the city. Only those that did not follow the orders where taken.”
Castiel answers him and the man tenses, fists clenched, and spits back, “blood should not mean anything.”
And Castiel wonders. It wasn’t about the blood; it was about the righteous believing, the act itself.
But- “You are not an Egyptian, what have you to fear?” Castiel turns his head at the man, curious, his grace heaving inside him like the river, and over all, the cries of the children, the wailing of their mothers.
The man inhales deep. “None deserve this. We put blood over our door, but they don’t deserve to die, they’re children. What kind of God does this? Has their angels murder innocent babes, has them rip them from their mother’s arms? Do you have any answers?”
And Cas, watching this man with heaving chest upon the bank, does not. In him, his grace steadies; he has no answers, but he has, perhaps, a path, lit from the unlikeliest place.
“Of course you don’t, none of you do, you repeat the same things about orders over and over while you murder our children, and you-”
Castiel cuts him off with a raised hand, steps forward, pulls his foot from the mud. “You fought.” The man stops, mouth open, and confusion overtakes some of the anger in his face.
“Of course I did.”
“You fought though none of them were yours.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Castiel hears the end of his sentence ringing loud from his head, though he does not speak it: everyone deserves to be saved.
Castiel chooses. “I too shall fight.” The man’s face turns incredulous and Castiel turns back to his brethren still in the water, raises a hand and-
“What is your name, angel?”
He turns back, lowers his arm, and tells the man. “Castiel.”
The last thing he sees are the man’s green eyes staring at him, urging him to make a choice, and he wonders why they are familiar. Before he can do anything the pure whiteness of a room overtakes the river and the houses, the feeling of straps at his arms replaces the water, utter silence and a quiet voice saying, “it’s always you, Castiel. I’m starting to think we shouldn’t bother sending you out,” overwhelms the screams, his screams, but he tells himself, this time, to hold on to those green eyes.
No one has ever demonstrated that much love for Regina before? Really?
Well, then I don’t know what was Emma sacrificing herself for Regina to take in the darkness. Also, it’s not like Emma literally pushed Regina away from the wraith’s path. Like, really no one has ever sacrificed themselves for Regina.
I swear to god that the writers and the producers and everyone else is just playing with us, as if we would never realized that even before Robin was in the picture, there was someone sacrificing themselves for Regina.
That someone was Emma. And while I hate what the writers have to done to the character, they are just forgetting the important role that Emma has played in Regina’s life.