Lucifer stands at the edge of the wilderness when Castiel finds him, glancing over the edge of a cliff overlooking a lush forest, a river rolling through the valley.
“Is it not beautiful? Such wonders our father has made,” he says wryly before turning to acknowledge the other angel with a smile. “Castiel, I would say I am surprised to see you, but that would be lying.”
“What does the devil care of telling lies?” Castiel says stiffly.
Lucifer dramatically clasps a hand to his chest and begins to circle Castiel. The other angel watches his every move. “Castiel. So judgmental. You wound me.”
“I am not here to wound you.”
Lucifer’s lips twitch into a tiny smile. He had almost forgotten the innate lack of a sense of humor most of his brothers and sisters shared. “No - you could not, even if you were. Not while I look so much like Sam.” He tips his head to the side, pausing in his steps for a moment. “You knew - all along, you knew of their destinies, so far beyond any of their wildest imaginings, and you never told them. Why?”
“I dare not defy my father’s orders,” Castiel whispers, glancing away from Lucifer for the barest of moments; in that moment, Lucifer looks at him, truly looks, beyond the fragile skin and bones of his vessel to the grace of the angel beneath.
Very few things shock him anymore; the feeling is unfamiliar and slightly unnerving.
“You are falling,” he says softly.
When Castiel responds, he does not meet Lucifer’s eye, instead staring somewhere in the vicinity of his shoulder. “I have disobeyed.”
“Well, well, well. That is an unforeseen turn of events.” Lucifer barks a laugh, resuming his circle. “No, we must not disobey Father, must we?”
“If I did not know any better, Lucifer, I would say that is contempt I hear in your voice.”
“And if I did not know any better, Castiel, I would say that I sense doubt in yours.”
Lucifer turns, clasping his hands behind his back. He speaks with his eyes on the blue horizon. “I couldn't blame you, of course. You're right to doubt our Father.”
“I do not doubt him.”
“But you question him,” Lucifer turns on his heel, giving Castiel the barest hint of a smile. “Or you would, if you could find him.”
Lucifer moves in close, enough that tips of his boots brush up against Castiel’s shoes. To his merit, Castiel does not flinch, does not outwardly show the fear that flashes through his eyes.
Lucifer frowns, taking a small step backwards. “I am not going to kill you,” he says slowly, and Castiel watches his face warily, disbelieving.
“Because that is not how this ends.”
“And how does it end?”
“With the world - not with a bang, but a whimper.” Castiel frowns, confused, and Lucifer purses his lips. “Is that not how the saying goes?”
“I do not understand.”
Lucifer sighs and shakes his head. “Really, brother, ignorance does not become you.” He resumes pacing in a slow circle, making Castiel more and more uncomfortable. Lucifer would be lying if he said he did not admire the other angel’s courage.
“Lawrence,” he says and Castiel’s tension vibrates along every molecule of his vessel.
Lucifer clasps his hands together. “You must travel back to the beginning, Castiel. If God is who you seek, then seek him there. It’s a very good place to start.” His lips twitch into a smile and he begins whistling, knowing full well Castiel will not understand the reference. So much time among the humans, and he never took the time to learn their ways. Lucifer neither likes nor respects them, but thousands of years have passed since he was cast down to earth; if he could not understand his father, he would seek to understand those who were favored above himself.
“Dean,” Castiel whispers, “He is traveling there. Right now.”
“Well,” Lucifer says softly, grinning, “Isn’t that a surprise?”
Then, he disappears, leaving Castiel alone with his thoughts.