Twenty-Three - Brielle

"We didn't have to leave home base, we could've done some training or something," was Charlie's complaint throughout the ride to the store.

Meg glanced at the redhead from the mirror. "Don't make me make you tuck and roll out."

"Oh, please."

"You think I can't? Um, who's the one with badass powers?"

"Cas."

Meg grimaced. "After we've fought together, and you hold Castiel over me. I see how it is."

"Is that jealousy I hear?"

Jealousy? As if. But Meg offered no retort to Charlie. Castiel had been quiet from the time he called shotgun. She wanted to know what was going on in that angelic mind of his, but maybe not. Maybe he was thinking about what was slowly creeping into her mind.

Though she didn't feel particularly threatened, the angels wanting Jessica, Jo, and Charlie back in Heaven was a bit troubling. What had they done to deserve their second life taken away from them? How fair was that? And humans think angels are the good guys. They're douchebags with feathers.

"Um, respect the speed limit," Cas offered Meg in warning.

"I haven't crashed a car, keep your feathers on."

"Meg!" Charlie shouted.

With tires screeching, Meg forced the car off the side of the road, into the woods. She managed to avoid any trees and woodland creatures when they all came to a halt. All this to spare a damn angel. I should've ran the bitch over, feathers would've been everywhere.

"What was that?" Charlie sputtered.

"An angel, who you made me miss," Meg seethed. "I could have kept on going!" She noticed Castiel's head was on a swivel. "Is there a point to starting her up again and moving?"

"No, they're here."

"Damn it." Meg smacked the wheel.

"Meg, what did you do?" Charlie asked.

"What makes you think I did something to piss the freaks off?"

"Um, well, you're a demon."

"That's profiling." Ahead, Meg saw the female angel from before. It was the female with ringlets for hair. And she looked pissed since the last time they'd confronted each other. Meg couldn't help but notice the angel blade.

"Stay here, both of you," said Cas as he exited the truck.

"He's kidding, right?" Charlie asked Meg.

"Damn straight he is. Come on," Meg told her.

The two women hopped out, and Cas turned to look at them both. He looked agitated by their disobedience, but Meg really didn't care about his feelings right now. She was pissed she nearly ruined her crash-less streak of driving.

"Time's up, Castiel," said the female angel. "Hand over Charlie Bradbury, and I may let your demon pet live."

"Um, pet?" Meg seethed.

"Whoa, whoa, why do you want me? What have I done to offend Heaven?" asked Charlie, who moved to the front of the pack. Meg had to give the redhead credit, she was fearless in front of an angel who could easily kill her.

"You left." The angel sniffed. "You've committed a transgression, and so has Castiel. Souls who belong in Heaven are supposed to stay there. Castiel broke you out. I've come to take you back."

Charlie looked horrified at the prospect. Meg couldn't believe this bullshit the angel was continuing to spew about.

"Why not just leave the girl alone?" Meg drawled. "I mean, you've got worse things to worry about than one soul lost from Heaven. What will it take for you to forget that she ever left your sanctuary? I can't offer you much."

"And why would a demon want to offer anything to save a human?"

Meg sighed loudly. "Because as irritating as the human race is to things like you and me, she's one of the good ones. She's not causing any harm, she's not plotting to destroy the world. Cut the kid a break, her life got cut too short the first time. Try to live up to the phantom reputation humans give you and be good for once."

Meg wasn't sure who was more floored by her speech: Charlie, Cas, or the unnamed angel. She was surprised at herself, too. Speaking up for a human, someone with enough knowledge to kill her? Something's screwed with my brain.

The angel regarded Cas. "Tell me where the others are, Castiel. We'll collect them."

"No," it was Charlie who spoke. "It's our right to stay here! We've more than earned it! You're heartless by stealing us away."

"Charlie, angels don't have hearts," Meg muttered to her. She realized this was the first time she'd ever addressed Charlie by her actual name, and not a nickname.

"Cas does! He cares about us! Why can't other angels be the same way?"

"Because we aren't corrupted by humanity like he is," the angel said curtly. "I don't want to make this messy. I really don't want to have to kill you, Charlie, to bring you back home."

"Then don't." Charlie took steps back towards the truck. "Like Meg said, forget I ever left Heaven. You've got a lot more to monitor. Soul capacity can't be a competition, can it, between you and Hell? That's like measuring dicks, or—or a pissing contest. Bottom line: it's pointless."

"You're very outspoken for a human whose life seems to be hanging in the balance, Miss Bradbury."

"Brielle," Cas almost pleaded with the angel. "Call off the search. They haven't committed any offense. They've helped saved the world before the situation got too critical. That should earn them a pass."

Brielle shook her head. "If Heaven worked that way, Castiel, then we wouldn't be having this argument. We have to follow the rules, it's law."

"You birds really need to get those sticks out of your asses and learn to bend the rules," Meg groaned. "Now, shoo, before we fight you for Charlie."

Brielle looked a bit ruffled. Her grip tightened on her blade, but she didn't make a move. Meg's hands went to fists. I don't know why, but I will fight for this girl to live. She and Cas exchanged knowing looks. They would fight off Brielle together if it came down to it. They made a good team, after all, if history could prove anything.

Flustered, Brielle vanished.

"What the hell was that about?" Charlie asked the two.

"Do you wanna tell her, or should I?" Meg asked Cas.

"Let's get back in the truck and finish the run," Cas suggested. "I think...I think this is something the others must hear, too. It doesn't affect just you, Charlie."

"I gathered that much," said the redhead.

The three hauled themselves back into the truck. Meg got it started, backed them out of the woods, and back onto the road. The heavy topic hung over their heads, but Charlie asked no questions, and Cas and Meg didn't bring it up.

**Y'know, I think Meg has changed considerably, even beyond the show. And you know what? I kinda like it, a lot.**

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