Fic: Flames Of The Past 2/2
Title: Flames Of The Past. Author: Lopaka Tanu Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. Characters: Dean, Sam, Bobby, Ruby, Uriel, Castiel. Words: 18,683 For: gehvays/ashirbaad Prompt: A scenario whereby Castiel falls, lured by the dark side and Dean has to get to him and save him before Uriel does, who has been instructed to kill him. Fandom: Supernatural Timeline: Post: 4x12 - Chris Angel Is A Douche Bag. Pairing: Mentioned Sam/Ruby. Rating: Adult Warnings: Language, Violence, Human Sacrifice, Demonic Slurs. Summary: It's starts with Denver disappearing in the middle of the night. Author's Note: Thanks to usmc75. Theme Music: "The Host of Seraphim" - Dead Can Dance ______________________________________ The morning sunlight filtered through the cloth covering the windows. That meant the shutters hadn't been drawn the night before. There would be insects at the food then, probably moths in the wine too. Dean wondered how awful the clean up would be this morning.
He wouldn't get it done by standing behind the curtain. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to go in there. The soft snores of the 'guests' filtered through the cloth barrier, staying his feet. Still, it wasn't like he had a choice.
The Master of the household would be up soon. If Dean wasn't at least cleaning on the mess, he would be taken out to the stalls and whipped.
Dean didn't need the reminder, his backside still carried the scars from the last time. Still, his feet would not carry him. The fingers of his left hand twisted in the curtain as he clenched his eyes shut.
"Do you believe this to continue without punishment?"
The familiar voice made Dean jerk. Holding his breath, he trembled.
"What I choose to do is of none of your concern." The voice was lazy, thick with pleasured exhaustion. There was just a hint of annoyance in the 'guest's' voice.
"We are the Watchers of Humanity. Our Bright Father set us apart from them. There is never to be a union, nor offspring brought forth from said sacrilege!" Blue eyes was angry. More angry than he had ever been to Dean. "You violate our every covenant and flaunt your sins in His face. This will not go unpunished, Semjaza!"
"You buzz about like a gnat." Semjaza's lazy tone took on a more aware quality as he spoke. "Careful you're not swatted, Castiel."
Eyes going wide, Dean dropped his cleaning brush.
Descending the stairs, Dean felt more exhausted than when he had climbed them in the first place. His head was killing him and he felt like the Impala had driven him from Denver to South Dakota. What was worse, on top of that was the fact he could definitely smell something that wasn't coffee.
Nose wrinkling, he slid off the last step in to Bobby's living room. He raised a hand to scratch at the back of his head and looked around. The books were still out on the table. More had joined them during the night apparently.
Another quick look around the living room revealed no one living. "Hey, Bobby? Sam? Anyone here?"
"Scooby-Doo boxers, Dean?" Bobby's voice came from behind Dean. Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, he just shook his head. "Sam's gone with that pet demon of his to pick up some supplies."
"They take my baby?" Suddenly alarmed, Dean rushed to the window. When he saw the empty driveway, he glowered at the yard as if it was at fault. "Sammy's just working himself up for a world of hurt."
"Forgive him, this time. I told him to get that trash off my property." Finished drying off the pot in his hands, Bobby held it by the handle at his side. "What the hell were you boys thinking introducing that thing to my room?"
"Your room?" Dean frowned as he turned to face the older man. When the memory came back to him, he quickly looked away. "Yeah, sorry about that. At the time, it was for Anna. We needed some place to stash her where they wouldn't find her."
"A woman that you had no idea what the hell she was, with arcane knowledge of the occult? You thought it was a good idea to stash her in my bolthole?" Bobby stood there staring at the clearly uncomfortable Dean. His mouth drew tight in to a thin line. "If you ever pull something that damned stupid again, boy, adult or not, I'll take you over my knee."
"I'm sorry, Bobby." Dean knew he was pinking severely, but did nothing to hide it. He could only stare at his feet. It took a lot of effort to not fidget under the older man's gaze.
"Get in here, breakfast's been ready for several hours now." With that, he turned and wandered back in to the kitchen.
Relief flooded through Dean like a physical effort. Sighing, he grinned and followed along.
Between stuffing his face with pancakes and eggs, Dean flipped through a random book. The stuff he glanced over was extremely boring and held little information he didn't already know. It was surprising just how much he actually knew.
Seeing a summoning ritual on one page made Dean stop. He read the list of ingredients with an ever sinking feeling. He grimaced as he realized just what kind of demon would need those. Dean quickly closed the book and set it aside.
He was bored. Being holed up here for a while was going to get old fast. Scratching at his ear, he picked up another book. "Hey, Bobby, does the phrase 'Watchers of Humanity' mean anything to you?"
Bobby looked up from the shotgun he was cleaning, a frown on his face. He considered the words for a moment before nodding once. "Yeah, I seem to recall a few things about it. Why?"
"I don't know." The pages he was reading made Dean shudder. The tortures described upon them were a little too familiar. "I just heard it some where."
"Oh." Shrugging, Bobby went back to cleaning the stock with a wood polish. He cocked his head to examine the shine in the morning sunlight. "Well, the nearest I can tell, they were Angels. Some two hundred of them if I'm right."
That sparked Dean's interest. Raising his head, he frowned at Bobby. "Were? What happened?"
"The Fallen Ones. The lords of hell, that's them." Bobby clenched his jaw as he pulled a reluctant bolt from the gun. "Man, that's really stuck in there. Anyways, you know the story already. My copy of 'The Book of Enoch's on the shelf in the living room. Haven't gotten to it yet."
"It was a city." Dean nodded to himself as that detail came back to him. "Nah, not interested. I've had it up to here with that crap for a while. Know what I mean?"
Rolling his eyes to the ceiling, Bobby snorted. There was no misunderstanding his reaction.
Dean polished off his breakfast with a moan of pleasure. Done, he patted his stomach and burped. "Excellent as always, Bobby."
"Thank you." Setting aside the stock, Bobby picked up the barrels. He eyed one using the sunlight. "Now that you're done eating, you can clean the dishes."
"Bobby!" Staring at the other man, Dean put on a shocked expression. When that didn't get him attention, his hand went to his chest. "I'm a guest in your home. Manual labor is against the rules."
"Like hell. Between you two boys, I can't keep a clean dish or ounce of food in the house." Not seeing an obstruction, Bobby picked up the polish cloth and began to rub it over the barrels. "I suggest you get cracking before Sam gets back. He's gonna want something to eat, and then you'll have twice as many dishes."
"That's totally unfair." Dean sat there for a moment more in outraged silence. When nothing happened to change reality, he closed the second book he had been fingering and stood up. Bobby was right about one thing, Sam would get back and double the load. Even if only to make Dean work that much more.
Dean was searching his seventh book in the last ten minutes. Bobby had been right about there being nothing of any use to him in them. It was like the information had been deliberately left out of every publication just to taunt him. He was getting up to pick up book eight when he heard the familiar roar of an engine.
Setting the seventh book down, Dean rushed to the window. Sure enough, the highly glossed black hood of the Impala came in to view as she rumbled up the driveway. He took a moment to marvel at her beauty before pulling himself away.
By now, Bobby was at the front door with his shotgun. Checking the rounds, he cocked the gun.
Dean joined him from the other side. His shotgun was loaded with a mixture of silver and iron buckshot. Anything demonic would be in for a world of hurt.
Signaling with his hand, Bobby reached down to open the door. The barrel of his shotgun went out first.
"Whoa! Hey, Bobby, it's just me!" Sam's voice echoed off the house, through the open front door.
Rolling his eyes, Dean felt like storming out there and smacking his brother. The idiot was acting like this was the first time he had a gun drawn on him.
Reaching in to his pocket, Bobby pulled out a flask. He tossed it to Sam, whose footsteps were pounding on the front steps. "Drink this, boy, prove who you say you are."
The petulant sigh was loud enough for even Dean to hear. Typical Sammy. So far, everything was checking out.
"There. Happy?" The silver flask came back.
Pocketing again, Bobby shook his head. "Not even, but you'll do." He stepped away from the door and nodded at Dean. "Help him unload." Without a backward glance, he walked back in to the kitchen to finish cleaning his guns.
Dean glared at him.
"Bobby, where's this go?" Dean held up a tub of vanilla ice cream. The tiny grin on his face was the only sign he was jerking the older man's chain.
Picking up his knife, Bobby gestured to the fridge. "So, where'd you dump your girlfriend at?"
"Some where in town. She told me it was best I not know where she was staying." Despite the sweat staining his shirt, Sam shivered. His skin was pale and his eyes looked a little haunted. "There was a television running the news on the counter in the store."
"Really." Bobby tried not to sound or look interested as he scrubbed the blade of his knife over the whetstone. "What's the damage?"
"Four more towns across the world are gone. One in Europe, another in Asia, the final two in Africa." Sam shivered again. He picked a box of cereal and carried it to the cubbard. "A blizzard hit Guadalajara, Mexico, burying the entire city under twelve inches of snow in eight hours. Death toll estimates were in the hundreds of thousands."
"Jesus Christ." All three men were stunned to hear that it was Dean who spoke. Looking away, Dean grabbed the cans of beans off the counter and headed for the pantry. The door closed behind him, giving him a moment of privacy.
He leaned against the shelf for a moment to catch his breath and clear his thoughts. What the hell was happening to the world? More importantly, what was going on with the people in it? Just when they needed him the most, Castiel had to go and pull this shit. It just didn't make any sense.
Why, when there was so much left to do, did he have to quit? What was so bad that he couldn't continue to fight anymore? How long was it before Dean reached that point? If this happened to Castiel now, it was only a matter of time for someone like Dean.
That thought there was what scared the hell out of Dean the most. When he quit, not if, because now it was a certainty, he would most likely be sent back to hell for his refusal to continue. Panic seized Dean's heart, making it freeze in his chest.
He winced as the pain made him grasp at the pantry shelf. There would be no relief, no salvation when the time came. The war was here and he would be nothing but another casualty!
Dean felt something snap in his head, and, suddenly, the pain was gone.
As he took a deep breath, a peace came over him. There was nothing to be upset about any more. Wiping his face clean, Dean sniffed to clear his nose. He grabbed the pantry door handle and pushed it open.
There were still supplies that needed put away.
Sitting behind the wheel of the Impala, Dean stared out straight ahead through the windshield. The sun was slowly setting in the distance. It would be dark in about two hours by his estimation. Definitely two hours. That might as well have been ten as far as Dean was concerned.
Just sitting there with nothing to do was driving him slowly crazy. He had realized before just how hard it was for Bobby. The reminder was not something he really needed. The loneliness, the never ending quiet, it made one a little twitchy.
No wonder the man drank. Getting drunk helped.
Dean considered putting back enough just to make the room spin, but thought better of it. Getting pleasantly buzzed and getting shit faced were two different things. Boredom was no real reason to drink.
No matter how much he might want to.
His fingers tightened around the wheel. He longed to put his baby in to gear and just floor the accelerator. Let her go full bore and just fly down the road. It was the closest to paradise he would ever get.
Blinking, he checked the time on his watch. Two minutes since he last checked. Yep, it was official. Definitely.
He tracked a bird over the horizon. It was quite large, probably a vulture. Dean wondered if there was something dead out there. Probably, some where.
The backseat stunk. Not of death or sulfur, like one would expect from a demon. No, it stunk of sweat and faded perfume. That and sex. Sam had fucked Ruby in the back of his baby.
His fingers twisted around the steering wheel grip.
They thought they were so clever, that he was so stupid that they could fool him. Nope. He knew. They were fucking, and they had sullied his baby.
He was going to kick Sam's ass when he went back inside. It wasn't just because of screwing the demon. No, that was a good part of it, but no. Sammy just needed to have his ass kicked. Definitely.
Checking his watch, Dean noticed it had only been two minutes since the last time he checked. It had been three hours since he had smoked that joint he found in the glove compartment. So, yes, it was official, he was high.
It was late. Dean was feeling mellow even though his buzz had worn off hours ago. He felt good, a little unsure of the state of things, but other wise okay.
Sammy refused to look at him except to occasionally glare. Those weren't very effective as he only had one good eye.
Dean didn't understand why he was so upset, Dean was the one with the sore hand and split lip. The asshole not only had a solid head, his fists were pretty hard too.
He had a cup of cooling coffee cradled in his one good hand. Sitting by the lit fireplace, Dean was in Bobby's chair with a blanket around his knees. He realized he looked like a little old lady, but didn't really give a shit. The world had been turned on its head for the past three days and nothing was what it had once been.
So, why should he care about his dignity? Wasn't like it did him any good. As he turned away from the fire, Dean found Bobby in the desk chair.
The older man was staring at Dean. He had a frown on his face and a dark tome in his hands. It seemed like wanted to ask something.
Dean didn't care to answer any questions. So, he looked back to the fire. It was possible the three beers he had with dinner were mixing with what was left of the pot in his system. That stuff was definitely better than the shit he had tried back when he was fourteen.
He had the sudden, irrational urge to giggle. He must have made a sound because the already quiet room went dead silent. Putting a hand to his mouth, Dean glanced about with just his eyes. No one said a word, so he wasn't in trouble.
Well, he didn't know how much longer that would remain. So, he stood up, knocking the blanket to the floor. Stretching his arms over his head, Dean yawned. Done, he turned to face the stairs. "I'm going to bed."
"Good night." Fingers holding two places in the book, Bobby watched Dean cross to the stairs. He frowned just as the younger man reached them. "Hey, Dean, I have one question before you go to bed."
Pausing with his hand on the banister, Dean shifted so he could see Bobby. "Yeah?"
"What do you know about the city of Enoch?" Eyes narrowed, Bobby studied Dean while he waited for a response.
As far as Dean was concerned, it was just a minor annoyance. This was just something the man did from time to time. "Why? It's not important."
"Just humor me, Dean." The sharpness was gone from his eyes, but he didn't look away.
This made Dean want to groan and walk away. He only did the former, though. "Enoch was the first city, the city of Man and Angels. Angels taught people a bunch of bad stuff, women gave Angels herpes, God destroyed it. The end." Scratching at his balls, Dean blinked several times. The lights were causing his eyes to sting.
Whatever Dean had said disagreed with Bobby and set him to frowning. He quickly checked the book. "Where did you hear the name of the city? Not Enoch, but the part of Man and Angels?"
"I dunno." Now Dean was certain he sounded petulant. He wanted to get to bed, his head hurt, and he was at least drunk, possibly high. Sleep, at this point, sounded like heaven. "Can I go now?"
There was more Bobby wanted to ask, it was obvious in the way he kept glancing down at the book. In the end, he nodded once. "All right. Sleep well."
Dean waved at him and Sam. "I intend to. Night!" He quickly climbed the stairs, one at a time to make sure he didn't fall.
Hands held him down upon what he knew to be the stone altar. Though he couldn't see them thanks to the cloth over his eyes, he could hear them cackling. Every time he tried to struggle, their grip became painful until he stopped. "Please, I have done nothing against you."
"I know." Semjaza's voice was right next to his ear. Warm, fetid breath rushed over Dean's skin from the Watcher's mouth. "You've kept yourself delightfully pure."
"As He has commanded." Their joyous laugh made him shiver. "I have done all that has been asked of me. Why do you punish me?"
"We do not punish. We honor your devotion." Semjaza's voice grew distant as he spoke, meaning he had stood up. "You are pure, untainted by Earthly pleasures."
"Yes!" Dean surged up away from the cold altar. Where it touched made his skin shrink back. "I have kept myself pure and apart!"
"And that is why you will make Our perfect sacrifice!" The voice echoed through out and in to the field where the altar had been brought. Semjaza was roaring up the crowd of those gathered. "We shall sacrifice this pure one that Our Father may know how we honor Him!"
Cries of joy and anger filled the court yard, yet not a single one among them dissented.
The beating of his heart increased until the pain overcame the fear. In that moment, he was going to die
A cool breeze lazily tousled his hair. Reaching up, Dean tried to brush the sensation from his scalp. Another breeze caused him to frown. Blinking awake, he groaned. The morning light came through the window pale and washed out. It gave the room an almost dreamy quality.
Sitting up to lean on one elbow, he scanned the old room. The window by the foot of the bed was open just a crack. The world beyond was covered in a pale snow. Dean realized the sun wasn't even up yet, this was a false dawn.
The house was so quiet that, when he sat up, the strain of the bed springs sounded like a scream. Dean carefully placed his sock covered feet on the floor. He had been sleeping here on and off enough to know that the hardwood floor was never warm in the morning.
He wasn't sure why he was awake so early. It had been late when he went to bed, he should have been asleep for another several hours. Still, he was up now and his bladder was protesting against any idea of returning to the nice, warm blankets.
His footsteps on the stairs echoed in the house. He wasn't exactly trying to be stealthy, but these sounded awful loud even to his ears. There was something wrong about that. Taking the turn near the bottom, he paused to look out over the living room.
The fire was out and the grate locked in place over the hearth. Books still lay about as if someone had just set them aside. Even the chairs looked like they had been used.
Everything appeared normal.
Dean yawn as he started forward. He took the remaining stairs and landed at their bottom quietly There was no smell of cooking food or freshly prepared coffee. That meant Bobby was still asleep. Opening his eyes, Dean found himself at the front door.
He frowned as he reached for the knob. What was he doing? Turning the handle, he pulled open the door. Cool air flowed in from outside. Once it was open wide enough, Dean stepped through.
The door slammed shut behind him.
Coming out of his bedroom, Bobby scrubbed at his face. His robe hung open, which revealed a 'Rub This For Luck' T-shirt and faded 'Joe Boxer' smilie face boxers. As he stopped in the living room, he shivered from the chill.
Frowning, he picked up a gun from the pile he had been cleaning the night before. He cautiously walked to the front wall and peered through the window. For just a moment, he swore he saw a tiny figure standing next to a snow drift.
A girl's laughter echoed in the living room.
There was pain, more than he could ever recall having felt outside of hell. If it weren't for the fact he could feel his heart beating, Dean would have thought he was back there. As it was, from the laughter in the shadows, he might as well have been.
Huffing and breathy, the familiar laugh echoed along his spine. With each twist of a knife blade against his skin, the giggler took more blood. "Hello, Dean. I know you're awake."
"Alistair, you bastard." He tried tugging at his bonds, but they had no give. Laid on his stomach, he could only see as far as his neck could twist. The only light came from a hole in the ceiling. "When I get out of these chains, I'm going to...Gah!" The knife sank deep in to his left shoulder.
"Oops, slipped." Slowly pulling the blade free, Alistair took a quick breath. "What were you saying about when you got free? I just love it when you fight back, so amusing, so angry, so very futile."
"Keep it up, you sick fuck. I'm going to enjoy tearing you apart piece by piece." To show that pain was no deterrent, Dean arched back. In the dim light, he could see the amused expression on Alistair's host's face. A backhand to the face slammed him to the floor.
"That's what I like to hear, that's the Dean I've grown so very fond of." Twirling the blade between his fingers, Alistair began to hum. "You have no idea how many wonderful things I have left to teach you. Unfortunately, you left before I had the chance."
Turning his face to the side, Dean spit out the blood from his split cheek on the demon's shoes. "Sorry to mess up your plans, asshole!"
Alistair drove his shoe in to Dean's side. "Mine weren't the only plans your untimely departure interrupted. The mistress was very displeased to discover you didn't stay put until you were needed." He kicked Dean again, this time knocking him in to a wall. "Which is annoyingly out of character, considering you used to be so dependable."
"Well, that's me, always pissing someone off." Dean grimaced as he started to chuckle. He paused to gasp in pain between laughs. "What say you remove these chains and then we can pick up where we left off."
"Oh, Dean, I thought you were smarter than that." Tsking him, Alistair used his knife like a finger and shook it at Dean. "Do you like this blade, it's one of my own creations. An original, to be exact. I found it in a private collection at the Vatican."
That made Dean shake his head. "I knew that place was twisted."
"Oh, not nearly as much as you think. Well," the demon paused, "may be after we're through here. That's a very lovely idea, thank you, Dean." He punctuated the name with a kick to Dean's ribs.
"Don't mention it." Coughing, Dean lapsed against the floor. He pressed his forehead to the cool stones.
"Now, be a good boy and hold still." Descending upon the fallen man, Alistair smiled. "I'm almost through, and then, then you can rest."
As much as he wanted to scream, Dean kept himself quiet. His jaw hurt from the strain as the last sigil was carved in to the skin of his back. By the time the knife was pulled away, tears were flowing freely over his dirty cheeks.
"I suppose I'm done." With a sigh, the demon sat back to examine his handiwork. "Really quite stunning. If I were given the proper amount of time, I could show you the true work of art you are. Alas." He sighed again. Standing up, Alistair kicked Dean again for good measure. "Soon enough we will have all the time in the world, Dean. Then, my lovely, we will see about that lapse in your training."
Clenching his eyes shut, Dean tuned him out. The pain of his back and stretched muscles were enough to help drown out the annoying voice. When he eventually took a shuddering breath, he no longer heard the other.
It was a full two minutes of counting before he opened his eyes. In the dim light, he saw no standing figure. Much to his relief, Alistair was gone.
Lowing his face to the cool stones, Dean bit his lip to keep from crying out. The cuts in his back flared anew with pain every time his heart beat. Whatever had been sliced in to his skin he knew wasn't for his health. A gasp of pain nearby made him shit his pants.
Opening his eyes, Dean turned to look behind him. Between the pain and his bound hands and feet, he couldn't move very far. All he could make out in the shadows was a large shapeless mass.
Fear clenched inside Dean's chest. Whatever was in the room with him couldn't be a good thing. He tried to work his bonds again, but the metal binding his wrists was solid. There was no getting out.
The gasp came again, followed by a shaky breath.
Dean knew he could lay there and let his mind go wild. That wouldn't solve anything and probably would make him nuts. Or, he could do something about it. "Who's there?"
This time it was a low moan. Something rustled across the floor, like it was dragged.
"Yo, it's not nice playing spook over there." Jerking on his bonds, Dean tried to move his body so he could face the shadows. "Soon as I get free, I'm going to get nasty."
"You are in no position to harm anyone but yourself, Dean Winchester." The familiar voice seemed to echo in the room and beyond.
Dean felt his heart stop. Swallowing, he licked his lips. Then he frowned as he tasted dirt and something else completely awful. "Castiel? What the hell, man?"
The Angel's snicker was tired and half gasping. "Close, but not yet."
"Where are we?" Dean glanced about. He wanted to see if he could make anything else out. "What the hell has happened? Or, better yet, why don't you explain to me why Uriel is trying to hunt you down and kill your ass?"
"You spoke with Uriel." It was a statement. The Angel was only confirming the truth. "I would apologize, but I'm afraid I am not sorry for what I have done."
"Two and half million people, and yet he has nothing to be sorry for. Typical." When there was no response, Dean shook turned away. He couldn't bring himself to look at the Angel's shadow any more.
"You should conserve your energy. You will need it when they come for us." Coughing, Castiel took a shuddering breath. The dragging sound was heard once more, and then nothing.
Dean lay there listening to the sound of his own breathing.
Dean was bored. There were no two ways about it. In spite of the pain of his wounds, he was bored. If something didn't happen to change that soon, Lilith and her dark, little cabal wouldn't have to worry about killing him. He would die from boredom.
"Hey, Castiel." It was a gamble. There was a good chance the Angel wouldn't answer.
Odds were in his favor, then. Dean smirked. "Answer me this. What happened in Denver."
"You already know the answer to that." The Angel sounded annoyed to even be asked.
"Yeah, well refresh my memory." If he had to be antagonistic to get a response, Dean could be that in spades.
The Angel's exhalation through his nose came through loud and clear. "I fell. God sent Uriel to punish me. Before he could, I was captured."
"See, that's a little too convenient an answer. I don't buy it." Bouncing back on his belly, Dean scooted until he was facing the shadow corner he knew Castiel to be in. "Try pulling the other one out now."
"It is the truth." By now, Castiel's voice took on a dangerous tone.
He was really getting the Angel worked up. For some reason, that made Dean really happy. "Well, if it is, it's not the whole truth."
"You are not ready to hear the whole truth, Dean." The scraping sound was back. It warred with the seething anger in Castiel's voice.
"You know, I think Jack Nicholson did a better job when he said that." Dean raised an eyebrow, and cocked his head. "Though, you have your moments, you've still got nothing on Shining Jack."
"I do not care!" This time, the words came from just outside the light. Castiel was breathing heavy and his voice held the strain. "You do not deserve to know the reason behind my fall."
"Whoa, someone woke up on the wrong side of the Demon Prison this morning." Not even if he wanted to could Dean keep the smirk off his face. That quickly changed to a bugged out expression when the Angel stepped in to the light.
Face contorted in rage and agony, Castiel crawled out on hands and knees. In and of itself, that would have held the attention, if not for what came with him. Draped off his shoulders and dragging on the ground were two black masses. They shimmered in the light, reflecting it a little.
It took Dean three swallows to remember how to breathe. His mind took a little longer to register why the Angel was crawling and in pain. "Are those," he asked in a breathy whisper.
Glowering at Dean, Castiel grit his jaw. "My wings." As he said the words, they twitched. The movement stopped as agony slipped over Castiel's face. Clenching his eyes shut, he lowered his head. He took a shuddering breath. "This is my punishment for breaking God's covenant."
Only one thought came to Dean's mind. He didn't even know where it came from. "Was she worth it?" Yet, as soon as he said it, Dean realized the words felt right.
Castiel gasped. "No." He actually trembled this time. "This was why He destroyed the city. It was not Lilith's actions, but my own, that brought down His wrath. I thought I could lure her..." Trailing off, he shook his head.
As Dean lay there watching, he realized Castiel was no more an Angel than he. What kneeled there on hand and knee was nothing but a mortal, a man. "You really have fallen."
"Yes!" The shouted word was filled with pain. Trembling again, Castiel started crawling again. His destination was clear as he drew near to Dean. "There is so much pain. I never knew how much this would hurt." The more he came in to the light, the more of his body and wings were exposed.
Dean realized with a little horror that one of Castiel's wings was bent at the wrong angle. Swallowing, he took a quick shuddering breath. "Can you make it over here?"
"I believe so." Castiel did not slow his crawling as he spoke. Even though he moved, he did not raised his head to see where he was going. After two more tugs of his wings, he was within touching range of Dean. Only then did he look up.
With a gasp, Dean realized why.
Staring at the human, Castiel blinked yellow eyes. When he noticed Dean's reaction, he dropped his head again. "It is as I feared."
Dean barely kept a shudder in check. He wanted to rage at the Angel, but as Bobby has said, it was done. There was nothing he could do. That alone made him close his eyes in resignation "Hey, lay down beside me. It's cold in here."
"It is." There was so much relief in Castiel's voice. Carefully, he crawled up along side Dean's body. His one good wing draped over the human's back. He froze when Dean gasped in pain. "I have hurt you."
"No, well, may be a little." He nodded over his shoulder. "Alistair was reaquainting us earlier."
"Ah." This time, when Castiel started to move, his wing was raised off Dean until he settled down. His actions came at no small price. As he laid down, perspiration beaded his brow. Then, and only then, did he lower his wing to cover Dean.
The only comfort the wing provided was relief from the wind. The ache within still pestered Dean. "Thank you."
Castiel clenched his eyes shut. Scooting closer, he pressed his face against Dean's arm.
"What do you think they want?" The silence had lasted an hour by Dean's estimation. His boredom was persistent.
"You know this already." Castiel's voice was now a gruff whisper. The pain had taken its toll upon his strength.
"To free Lucifer. All right." Dean huffed out his anger. "So what do you and I have to do with it?"
The Angel groaned. It wasn't a pained sound, which meant he was annoyed. "The final seal has been broken. Our side has lost the battle."
Some how, that didn't shock Dean as much as he thought it would. He almost felt a little relieved now that it was over. "So, what, we're here for Lucy's pleasure when he comes through?"
"No. We are part..." He trailed off with a wince. "We are part of the ritual."
"So, we're the sacrificial lamb. Great. I always wanted to know what a goat felt before it was carved up in to kabobs." The resurgence of pain in his back made Dean bite his cheek. "How long before they come for us?"
Castiel arched off the ground, taking part of his wings with him.
Dean understood the need. His own pain was increasing.
Head bobbing, Castiel's face was contorted in agony. "Not long."
As his body shook from the strain, Dean's breath came in pained gasps. He needed something to focus on, something to keep his mind occupied. It was while he was searching around wildly that he noticed the light coming through the hole had started to go dark. Something about that struck off warning bells in his head.
The sound of a metal door being opened echoed in the chamber. Footsteps rang off the floor as several people entered.
At the head of the mob, Alistair held a small curved blade in his hands. "It's time, Gentlemen."
Dean tried to avoid being touched by the demon that reached for his shoulders. "Get bent, fucker!"
"Really, such language, Dean." Alistair made a sound with his tongue off the top of his mouth. "It's a good thing we don't need you awake for this one."
All Dean had time for was to understand the words before a fist landed against his temple.
Dean cried out as the fingers touched his chest. They caressed him in such a foul way that made his skin burn.
"Father, hear us! We beseech thee to come." Samjaza's voice filled the air with a manic tone. "We are your true children. We only ask that which you have given these who are unworthy."
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" The chant rang out from over a hundred distinct voices.
Though he couldn't see them, Dean knew they were not only echoing the plea, but were demanding his blood. Their corruption had consumed their minds. These were not the Angels he served.
"We lift our voices as one, Father. We ask that you hear us and respond!" Crying out his prayer, Semjaza's voice was hoarse from shouting. "May our words be pleasing to your ears, that we may rejoice in your love." As the cheers of approval rang out, he placed his hands upon Dean's forehead. "Prepare the sacrifice!"
The hands holding him down shifted position. Dean found himself being raised up and turned over. He fought against them, jerking his arms and legs to no avail. A strike to the back of his head ended his struggle.
Dazed, Dean felt them strip off the remains of his lennon wrap. They tore it from his body, without removing their grip on his limbs. Cool liquid was applied to the skin of his back and head. To his horror, he realized they were anointing him with oil.
Something cold was pressed against his shoulder. He twinged, but the grip on his arm held him firm. The tip of the blade slid along his flesh, slicing out a pattern. Several more soon joined it and the air was filled with his screams.
Strong hands gripped his chin. They forced his jaw closed and his face to the altar.
"Be silent!" It was Semjaza. "Your endurance will bring forth the Divine. Paradise will once more descend upon the Earth and your people will know his love. You see, what we do is for all!" He smacked Dean's face upon the altar to keep him silent.
Pain and blood filled Dean's mouth. Head swimming, he started to drift in and out. He could hear their voices speaking as one. Their words made no sense, but the tone was very grave. Dean knew they were calling upon Him.
As the chanting picked up in crescendo, he started to grow faint. The blades had left his back in strips, blood mixing with the sacred oil. He could smell the sacred herbs before they applied them to his skin. Their touch sent agony through him, making him scream.
A wind picked up.
The chanting began to grow earnest, disparate for answer. A faint tremor shook the earth beneath their feet. Still, they continued on.
Suddenly, the wind ceased. A call of trumpets filled the air. The chanting stopped.
Then the screams started.
Dean awoke to a cacophony of wails. So many screams filled the night air that it was a physical force. His back was on fire. The skin of his head and back felt sticky with a fluid that smelt faintly of sandlewood. From the feel, he had been coated by some form of nut oil.
This sent a shiver of fear through him. Those sick fucks had been planning on sacrificing him!
Heat licked at his skin. Opening his eyes, he saw that the world around him was on fire. It swirled high in to the sky, lighting up everything. His eyes took a little time to adjust to the light.
That was when he realized that it wasn't the world, just a circle of fire around him. Beyond the circle he could see people fighting. Dean frowned. That wasn't right.
They weren't people. Between the flames, he made out figures, some in shadow, some seeming to glow, they were fighting each other. As he watched, several of the shadows consumed a brilliant one. When the light died, the shadows grew stronger.
The ground quaked beneath the altar, shaking Dean. His hands went to the sides of the altar to steady himself. Much to his surprise, they were unfettered by restraints. He checked his ankles and found them free as well.
His body protested it, but Dean shoved himself backwards off the altar. When his feet touched the ground, his knees gave out and he crashed all the way to the earth. Heat on his fingers made him jerk his hand back with a hiss. The circle of fire was closer than he had thought.
Trumpets heralded the arrival of something, drawing his attention to the sky. Looking up, Dean found the clouds a mixture of reds and blacks. At a central point, a prick of golden light appeared. Then, as if afire, the red and black clouds drew back, consumed by the golden light.
As the light grew in strength and size, a dull roar filled the air. Dean's hands went to his ears to protect them, but to no avail. The voice consumed all, flowing over and through him. He slid down against the altar as warm liquid ran from his ears and eyes.
The voice increased, causing all shadows on the field to stop. Their hands went to their ears, clutching at their heads. Falling to their knees, the shadows disappeared one by one.
By the time the last one he could see had disappeared, Dean was in too much pain for it to really sink in. The battle was over and the flames encircling him died away. All he knew was the voice.
Mercifully, the voice died away. It left only the silence of death in its wake.
Tears stung his face as the soap washed away the last of the oil from his wounds. He tried not to flinch away from the delicate touch, but like with all things, he failed. Dean hung his head. The lack of beads surrounding his face made him gasp.
They had taken everything from him.
He tried to pull the blankets up over his shoulders, but the gentle touch prevented him. Dean knew she meant well, but he didn't want her to be there. He didn't want anyone to see him ever again.
This was shame. His mind automatically supplied the word from the teachings of the priests of God. Eve was the first to know shame at her nudity, now he too experienced it. It was horrible!
"Zumlos." She tried to make her voice tender.
It only grated on his ears. Putting his hands to his head, Dean laid down upon the bed. He brought his knees to his chest and dragged the blanket over them.
Seeing this, she sighed. Picking up the bowl, she carried it out of his tiny cell.
For long time after, only silence was heard in the cell. Every so often, someone would stop by his doorway on their way. Then they would move on about their chores. No one would disturb him unless he asked them.
This was a sanctuary. As the priest that rescued him had said, 'God's place on Earth.' He would be looked after here.
Dean didn't care. He wished they had succeeded in killing him on the altar yesterday. As he lay there shivering, a calm slowly descend upon him. His eyes started to grow heavy. Before he knew it, Dean was yawning. Much to his amazement, he stared to drift off.
Before he fell asleep, though, he swore he felt a gentle caress against his cheek.
Dean awoke to someone touching his cheek. He opened his mouth to tell them to cut it out, but nothing came out. No, that wasn't true. He felt himself speak, but he didn't hear the words. Alarm made him open his eyes.
Standing over Dean, Sam had a relieved expression on his face. He opened his mouth and began to speak, but made no sound.
This made Dean frown. He flexed a sore hand. Finding that he could move it, he brought it up to his ear.
Sam immediately stopped speaking. His eyes opened a little wider, but he only nodded. He glanced about for something. Upon finding it, he left Dean's side and walked over to pick it up.
For a moment, Dean thought he had left him. So he called out for his brother.
Appearing at the foot of Dean's bed, Sam had a tablet and pen. He flipped it open to the first page and began writing in large letters. Finished, he turned it around for his brother to read. 'Are you deaf?'
Dean told him in no uncertain terms how stupid he thought that question.
Frowning at Dean's choice of words, Sam flipped the page and started writing again. This time, it was in a more emphatic penmanship. 'Don't be an ass, Dean!'
Flipping him off, Dean glanced about the room. The furniture was familiar enough for him to instantly place where he was. They were at Bobby's again. He must have said something because Sam had written 'yes' on his damn tablet.
He started to sit up, but stitches in his back immediately let him know that was a bad idea. Gritting his teeth, he eased himself back against the pillows beneath him. By the time he saw Sam's tablet again, the pain had pretty much settled to a tolerable level.
Holding up the pad, Sam scribbled, 'you have a backful of stitches. Bobby's hand hurts.' After he was certain Dean had read the words, he flipped to the next page and scribble more words. 'He says next time he's using the sewing machine.'
That explained why his back felt like it was put together like a patchwork quilt. Still, Dean couldn't quite remember what had caused that. So, he asked Sam.
Frowning, Sam wrote more slowly this time. It was one word, but the exclamation marks expressed all the venom necessary. 'Lilith!!!!!!'
Then it all came back to Dean. His head fell back against the pillows as the world started to swim. He felt sick at his stomach as he remembered the attack, the knife, Alistair, and finally, the battle. It didn't take a genius to figure out why he couldn't hear. He was lucky to be alive.
Looking back to his brother, he asked about what he knew.
Sam took a deep breath before he began writing. 'Bobby saw Lilith in the yard. We discovered you were missing.' His second page was even sloppier written than the first. 'We found nothing in the books. Still!!! Uriel came to us for help. Uriel!'
Dean could just imagine how well his brother had handled that.
Hand quickly flying over the paper, Sam started to just hand them to Dean instead of holding them up for him to read. 'Their plan to get her had failed, so they were switching tactics.'
No shit. Dean told him so.
After Sam got through snickering, he began writing again. 'You were the bait.'
Rolling his eyes, Dean wadded up the paper and threw it at Sam's chest. He had already figured that part out. Another paper appeared in his hands.
'The cities were a distraction. They were trying to horde up...the horde.' Seeing Dean read the last part, Sam smirked. He blinked when this one bounced off his head. 'Lilith started the summoning ritual before Uriel and the other Angels were ready.'
Dean told him enough. He was tired of this crap. Stupid ass angels had screwed up again. What else was new? A sick feeling settled in the pit of his stomach as he asked where Castiel was.
Taking a breath, Sam looked down. After a second, he shrugged and shook his head.
This time, the news was too much. Dean told Sam he didn't want to talk any more. Another paper landed in his lap. He considered just throwing it away, but curiosity got the better of him.
'We were too late. I'm sorry.'
Looking away, Dean felt a stinging in his eyes. It didn't make sense. Why should an apology do to him what the truth hadn't?
He couldn't bring himself to look at Sam when he asked if he would ever hear again. It was a stupid question, he knew. The situation was bad. Yet, he had to know for certain.
The reply was one simple word written in the center of the next piece of paper.
Dean folded the paper in half. Then he handed it back to Sam for disposal. Rolling on his side, he was careful not to stretch any of his stitches.
Fingers traced through his hair waking him. Sleepily, he swatted at them to knock them away. Dean wanted nothing more than to sleep forever.
They slid down the back of his head to touch the knob at the top his spine. Dean tried to jerk away, but only ended up tugging on his stitches. He knew he made a sound, but didn't hear himself. Then it came back to him.
Opening his eyes, Dean glanced over his shoulder. The relief at seeing familiar blue eyes was so strong he gasped. He tilted his head so that he could look over Castiel's shoulder.
Sure enough, his wings were there. Only, unlike the last time he had seen them, they now held up proudly. Pleasure at seeing them made Dean chuckle. Before he knew what he was doing, he had reached up touch the nearest one.
Castiel caught his wrist before he touched them. Holding up his other hand, Castiel shook a finger at Dean.
It was then Dean realized what he had been about to do. Feeling sheepish, he looked up to Castiel's face. The sight of yellow eyes startled him.
Blinking, Castiel changed his eyes back to their normal blue. The effort made him seem tired. His wings began to slump from their proud position.
The sight of the fallen angel made Dean sigh. Carefully, he laid on his back so that he could fully face the other. With shaking hands, he reached up and grasped Castiel by the sides of his face. It didn't take much effort to pull him down to lay beside him.
Castiel turned his face away as he climbed in to the narrow bed. As he stretched out, his wings relaxed and one of them half covered Dean's entire body. Once he was settled, he pulled Dean's hand over his back and let it rest on his black wing. A short time later, his breathing evened out.
That was okay. Dean understood the need for comfort. If this was what the Angel needed, he would give it as long as he could. Neither of them knew what the future held for them now. It was terrifying.
So, Dean did the one thing he hadn't done in a long time.
...and yea, they did summon, in their arrogance, God Almighty. 'Come down to us,' they demanded. Woe, He did descend upon them. All one hundred and ninety-nine, He smote them for their wickedness.
Cast they from heaven for all times, for knowing the flesh of man and woman. Given down upon from on high, did God in His wisdom send a decree. Hence forth, no servant of His shall: lay with the flesh of man or woman, utter His true name among humanity, reveal their true form to those unworthy, or shareth His Divine Knowledge.
Any violation of these covenants, and the mere hint is repugnant, would be cast from Heaven.
So sayeth the Lord, so it is written.</i> - Excerpt from 'The Book of Enoch'.