Title: Of Flesh and Grance and Something In Between
Author(s): Mistina60 of the Crank ol' Fangirls
Beta: MY MOM!!! (Seriously, Mistina60's mother proof read this chapter)
Series: Person of Interest and Supernatural
Pairing(s): Shaw/Root (Team Shoot), Dean/Castiel (Destiel)
Spoilers: "Person of Interest" through to 4x11 and "Supernatural" through to 8x23
Length: 2,181 words
Summary: Shaw can't believe this is her new life. Afterlife? Unlife? Second life? Ugh. Whatever. She has more important things to figure out. Like how the Hell she became the nexus between a bloody civil war up in Heaven and the battle between two God-like A.I. machines down here on Earth?!
Author's Note: After watching "Person of Interest" 4x11, I was in denial and I immediately put together a crossover fix it to pacify myself. Later the show revealed that I had nothing to be worried about. Well, not when it comes to Shaw. ^^;;
The world went black.
She felt heavy.
Sinking down, down, down.
The abyss reached for her.
Pulling her down, down, down.
Claws lashed out from the darkness below, eager to have her in their razor blade clutches. Each graze they managed to land sent a jolt of pain, climaxing sharp and lightning quick, throughout her entire being.
Her descent quickly became a violent free fall.
The claws grasping for her rapidly grew in number and tore into her with increasing accuracy. Gash after bruise after break after scrape...The blows became so frequent that they soon blurred into a single perpetual torment.
When the claws finally managed to latch onto her, they jerked her down hard into their bloody embrace. Temperature then made itself known. Within the confinement of the abyss was a heat that ignited her pain into a searing agony.
There in the dark, shackled and convulsing, she knew the time had come to atone for the oceans of blood shed by her hands.
Suddenly, a burst of light banished the claws and the heat and the pain.
Sameen Shaw’s eyes snapped open.
There was no desperate intake of breath. Her muscles didn’t jerk, or even so much as flinch, into action. There was no atrophy to indicate that she had been shot and then lying prone in a hospital bed or on a cold slab wearing a toe tag. She merely opened her eyes and found herself to be whole, taking a deep deliberate breath and gently flexing her hands in an attempt to verify her current state.
Even disoriented, Shaw realized that those were an awful lot of red flags.
She quickly took in her surroundings: attired in a flattering black pant suit, hair pulled back in its usual manner, seated in an office of some sort... She then surveyed the room, trying to gather enough intel to determine her current circumstances: stainless steel, neutral colours and glass… She’d had thought she was in a clinic or a lab if it weren’t for her clothes, the cubicles, the carpeted floors and the nearby water cooler. The office decor told her that her host was most likely cold, detached and efficient. She could relate to such traits which meant she knew all too well that having such a host was not a good thing. Speaking of hosts, she was facing a large desk occupied by a stranger.
"Hello Sameen," said the man behind the desk, his voice deep and gravelly.
She said nothing, shooting the man a suspicious look. Her eyes visually inspected the stranger while her hands took stock of available resources. Searching her pockets, her hands came out empty while her eyes yielded some information, but nothing helpful.
The man seemed completely out of place here. The office was sleek but the man seemed… ragged. He had unkempt dark hair and a five o’clock shadow along his jaw with a wrinkled trench coat over a rumpled business suit. The look was topped off with a blue tie hanging crooked around his neck. His look said ‘unpolished average joe’ but her instincts screamed that the look was just a ruse.
“I apologize in advance for my terrible bedside manner. I’m not known for my social skills," said the man, stiff but cordial.
“What are you known for?” she asked automatically. To seek and acquire information while giving up little to none in return was a reflex deeply conditioned into her psyche. A reflex which seemed to have paid off in this instance, for she spied a brief flash of sadness in the man’s squinted eyes before they were quickly schooled back into neutrality.
“Depends on who you ask,” he replied mysteriously, “but you will know me as the one who raised you from perdition.”
“So I did die,” she stated impassively.
“Yes, you did.” The man deadpanned, just as impassively.
Wearing a lazy smirk, Shaw leaned back in her chair, swaying slightly as it had wheels, and theatrically gave the room a once over. “Not exactly what I expected.”
“If you were expecting fire and brimstone, that is where you were headed.”
Shaw chuckled wryly at that. “So why am I here, wherever ‘here’ is?” She gestured lazily to indicate the office they were in.
“This is Heaven and you’re here because I have a proposition for you.”
“Heaven, huh?” she mumbled, eyeing the room dubiously.
“What you see is your soul’s interpretation of this foreign and more complex plane of existence,” Castiel explained as though this was matter of fact, which it most certainly wasn’t for Shaw. “Through blinders I’ve put in place so that your soul can exist here without harm.”
Shaw raised a brow at the afterthought, but let is pass for the moment. “And you are?”
“My name is Castiel. I’m an angel of the Lord.”
Her eyes widened slightly, the only hint that her calm demeanor was disturbed. “Reeaaallly?” she drawled.
“So what does an angel of the Lord want with a recently deceased sociopathic assassin?”
Castiel suddenly broke eye contact, a small frown on his lips, which troubled Shaw as he had not shown any obvious signs of emotion up until this point. “I’m offering you a place amongst our ranks.”
“Excuse me?” she sputtered incredulously.
Whatever answer she was anticipating, it was definitely not that.
“We’ve been fighting a war for the last few years,” he explained calmly, though there was an undertone of sadness. To Shaw it seemed as though he had anticipated her disbelief which indicated he wasn’t completely socially incompetent, or—at least—not as much as he thought. “The death toll is devastating. Our Father had created us as immortals and so we were never given the ability to procreate. Hence every fallen brother and sister is a permanent deduction to our population.”
“So, what?” asked Shaw, unable to slot herself into this scenario. "You’re going to hang a halo from a wire tied around my head and glue some wings to my back?”
The angel chuckled. “That’s something a friend of mine would say…” A small, fond smile tugged at his lips as he briefly reminisced. “...I wish to imbue your soul with a fraction of my grace. With practice and training, it could blend with your soul and make you something… in between.”
“‘Something in between’? The lack of a proper name really inspires confidence,” huffed Shaw sarcastically.
“I must admit, this has never been done before…”
“Oh, now I’m relieved.” the angel narrowed his eyes angrily at Shaw’s sarcasm but they didn’t deter her. “So I have to choose between being a lab rat in Heaven or burning in Hell?”
“No. No. I would never—” said Castiel adamantly before taking a deep calming breath. “I don’t want to force your hand. I have selected you for many reasons but the most important one is that I firmly believe you do not truly deserve to go to Hell. No matter what you decide, you have a place here.”
Shaw raised a suspicious brow. "But I only have your word to go on."
"True, but I can't think of any way to prove my sincerity without being accused of using"—he did, honest to God, air quotes—"'angel mojo'. Can you?"
Shaw gently bit her lip to stifle a chuckle creeping up her throat so she could focus on the matter at hand. “No. Not with angels having the mojo to manipulate my will while I'm none the wiser.”
“We are capable of such methods, but I have no desire to use them. I’m an advocate for humanity’s free will.” As he finished this statement his jaw clenched imperceptibly and his eyes squinted. Whether in anger or sadness, she couldn’t tell, but either way there was a story there.
“Yeah… Not sure how I feel about that.” She trusted humanity about as much as she trusted the ‘angel’ before her. She leaned back in her chair, running her tongue across her teeth behind sealed lips.
“Alright,” she said eventually, “why the Hell not?” She smirked wickedly, amused by her own choice of words.
“I don’t understand,” said Castiel, head tilting slightly in confusion.
“The way I see it, if I’m still alive and this is some kind of elaborate ploy then everything you’ve suggested is impossible. So anything you do plan to do with me I can more than handle. In short, if I’m alive then there’s no issue here.” she shrugged nonchalantly as she finished her first point, her face turning deadly serious when she moved on to her second.
“If I am, in fact, dead, then I am at your mercy. At the mercy of you and whoever and whatever else exists after death. Life after death is completely unknown to me, like it is to all humans. I’m lost in the dark with no tools or information. So if I’m to survive, you are currently my best source of information, my best chance.”
“Your logic is impressive,” said Castiel thoughtfully, eyes squinted as if he were studying the soul before him and calculating his next move, “but I must urge you to give my offer more consideration. Whether or not you believe that the offer is genuine, what I’m offering will be quite… permanent. And for the deceased, permanent is potentially a very, very long time.”
“Your concern is touching…” teased Shaw.
“I don’t understand. You’re a sociopa—”
“I am, but I was being sarcastic.” Shaw rolled her eyes, amused. “Look, don’t you worry about my decisions. I don’t have enough intel to work with, so consenting is my best option. However… On the off chance that all this is legit and you stick to your word, I will only consent if you meet one condition.”
“A reasonable request, if it’s something I can provide.” He leaned forward slightly, supporting himself with his forearms and interlacing his hands on the desk. “What is your condition?”
Shaw clenched her jaw, thrown off by her own impulsive request. Finding out that she had died was straightforward. Learning that this guy in a trench coat was an angel was surprising but easy enough to accept. Being told that this office was Heaven, well, that wasn’t much of a stretch after this 'desk jockey' angel.
But this… lingering attachment. That unsettled her.
“I want to be able to help my friends when they need it.” Unspoken, though surprisingly understood by the socially awkward angel, was ‘I want to see them again’.
“If I were to deny you, I would be a hypocrite.” Finding the new information intriguing, Shaw quirked a brow which had Castiel smiling in a cryptic manner. "I’m sure you’ll find out all about that soon enough."
“I’m sure I will,” said Shaw with an amused smirk.
“I accept your condition, Sameen Shaw.” Castiel stood suddenly, his face deadly serious. “Do you consent to my proposal?”
Shaw raised her right hand and held her left one over the heart, parodying a sworn testimony. “I do.”
The angel frowned slightly at her levity, but accepted her response as sincere. He reached down to open a desk drawer and retrieved a simple glass bottle that contained something that was anything but simple: a small spec of golden light surrounded by a faint but alluring aura that seamlessly flowed from colour to colour.
“Wow.” breathed Shaw, thinking that, if her current situation wasn’t real, she owed someone a huge ‘thank you’ for whatever seriously awesome drugs she was on.
“I have broken off a piece of my grace and placed it in this container,” explained Castiel, though unnecessarily. “When I say that this is a part of me, I mean it in the most literal sense. My thoughts, my feelings, my memories... All of me is in this shard as much as it is a part of the rest of my grace.”
“Wow, sounds pretty intimate.” whistled Shaw, looking up through her eyelashes playfully. “Can I add another condition? Because it’s starting to sound like you need to buy me a drink first.”
“Are you done?” asked Castiel bluntly.
“Sure, sure.” Shaw motioned for the angel to continue, which he did with a sigh.
“Theoretically, when I fuse this shard with your soul, you'll have access to all that I have learned and experienced. I will do my best to limit its influence so my grace doesn't consume you.” at Shaw’s slight frown, he shrugged helplessly. “As I said, this process is unprecedented and is, as you might have guessed, dangerous and very likely will be extremely painful.”
Her frown turned into one of grim resolve. “I can take it.”
With one last sad look, Castiel opened the container and the shard gravitated up and out to circle idly around his hand. As it crossed his palm he ensnared it in his fist and, in a blink, the angel was right next to Shaw with his arm elbow deep into her chest.
Grace met Soul.
Burning, searing, tearing, breaking.
Mind suddenly bereft of thought.
Bleeding, crying, waning, fading
The world went white.