My sincerest apologies for the delay. Life's a bitch.
Harry bit his lip and pondered the options he was laying out for himself. Something was wrong, very wrong. It was the only fact he was certain of. He couldn't figure out what, he couldn't figure out how to figure out what it was either. It was like something was persuading him to be apathetic to the problem. The issue with that was that Harry was quite bored with being apathetic at this point. He'd been apathetic for a long, long time before he'd joined up with the Winchesters but this current apathy made it look like he'd been throwing himself in front of buses beforehand.
It had been weeks since he'd found himself in this stuffy little hideout with 'Gabriel' and the other angels. It had been nearly as long since he'd seen the arch angel in question do anything, and he meant anything, that resembled his usual quirks. No mountains of magically summoned candy. No illusions of women to feed him said candy. No gloating, or poking fun at Harry's obvious confusion with the situation. In other words 'Gabriel' wasn't acting very Gabriel like at all. It hadn't been Harry's first tip off that something was wrong, but it was certainly the biggest.
So here he was, staring between the door to his room, the bed, and a bag. Confront Gabriel, continue observing and hope for the best, or get the fuck out of there. His head kept saying 'just wait it out'. Which of course was ringing all sorts of warning bells in his gut. So logic wasn't going to help him much, but it was dissuading him from just pointing out Gabriel's odd behavior.
He grabbed the bag and almost let the nagging voice in the back of his head persuade him to drop it. He clutched it tighter. He took two deep breaths, staring at the door almost as if daring it to open. Maybe if someone saw him, bag in hand, they might put two and two together and… His eyes widened. No, something was definitely wrong. For a second he got irrationally angry than he grit his teeth and forced open a portal right there in his temporary bedroom and stepped through.
"We've gotten nowhere!" Dean cried in frustration throwing his beer bottle a tinge to hard against the metal trashcan.
Sam sighed. His brother was right, but he didn't really see the point of being angry about it. Then again Dean did always seem to work best when he was angry. Maybe angry Dean was what they did need.
Bobby was sitting to the side watching the two boys with something akin to amazement still on his face beneath the forced surly expression.
"Well she knows him so it stands to reason he knows her." Ellen said, clearly trying to figure out the conundrum of a woman Cas was seeing to at that moment in the hotel room. "Question is, from where?"
"Well, there's that." Sam agreed. "But who's the angel? We've been kind of focused on the woman, no one's brought him up."
"Fair point." Dean agreed before turning to the gruff old man to his right. "Who's the angel Bobby?"
Bobby shrugged. "Hell if I know. Said his name was Gadreel. Don't know how true that was but I didn't really have time to play twenty questions on the other side of the pearly gates."
"Unknown girl, unknown angel, Bobby's back from the dead." Dean barked out a laugh. "Man our lives are weird."
"I get the feeling this is only going to get weirder before it's over." Ellen sighed. "So I guess the question now is does the angel know anything? The girl doesn't seem to be able to distinguish left from right, but he seemed pretty coherent."
"Gabriel seemed to know him." Bobby offered. Gabriel was the only one who seemed to really know even a bit of what was going on. "Kept calling him 'Heaven's most wanted'."
"Heaven's most wanted?" Sam parroted, as he tended to do when thinking and he'd been thinking an awful lot since Bobby's little group had shown up. He couldn't shake the feeling that he'd heard the name 'Luna' somewhere before.
"Well, I did find him in a jail cell." Bobby nodded, he hadn't thought much of the nickname because of the circumstances of his meeting with Gadreel.
"That might've been nice to know when we met him." Dean snarked. "Did you really have to go letting out all the bad guys Bobby?"
"Well I'm sorry if my escape attempt from Heaven at your request didn't exactly go smoothly." Bobby bit back.
"It might not be a bad thing." Sam offered as he saw Dean look sheepish. His brother had a tendency to accidentally insult people. "I mean, we're not exactly on Heaven's Christmas card list either. Maybe Gadreel could be useful."
Gadreel tried not to squirm in the presence of his brothers. They were sharing looks but nothing was coming in across the telepathic link all angels shared so he knew they weren't talking to each other that way. Which was probably smart since the angels in Heaven could have heard and followed their messages had they decided to use that method of communication.
Luna was sat on one of the two beds looking rather tired, but also raptly interested in the three men in front of her.
Gabriel finally heaved a sigh, looking quite exhausted all things considered. It wasn't really an adjective Gadreel ever thought he'd apply to an arch angel. They were supposed to be Heaven's mightiest warriors, unstoppable, immutable pillars of destruction. Not middle aged men who looked like they needed a nap.
Gabriel leaned forward fixing Gadreel with an almost painful stare. Gadreel met his eyes for a moment before averting his gaze. "I never…" Gadreel cleared his throat. "I never thought we'd actually meet."
It was true. Gadreel had met Michael once or twice in his long life but Gabriel had gone AWOL long before his incarceration and they'd never met before that. Most angels had assumed Gabriel was long dead.
"We never dreamed you would make it out of Heaven's prisons." Castiel spoke up instead of Gabriel. He was frowning but as far as Gadreel could tell that just seemed to be Castiel's resting expression.
Gadreel nodded at that. "I'm not asking for forgiveness, but…" Gadreel paused, unsure. "A chance to redeem myself. I made a mistake. I… Lucifer…"
"Yeah." Gabriel nodded understandingly, almost… dare he think it, empathetically at the name. "We've had our fair share of interactions with that ass clown." Luna giggled at the offhand insult, though she seemed somewhat out of it.
"Lucifer can be… persuasive." Castiel admitted too. "He convinced Sam to be his vessel, and tried to tempt both of us to his side multiple times."
"You were wiser than me to resist his call." Gadreel said, eyes downcast.
"Wise ain't got nothing to do with it." Gabriel bit out.
Gadreel looked at his brother with confusion.
"It takes resolve," Castiel added a bit less hostilely. "And friend willing to help you see past his offers."
"Yeah, yeah. The devil is sneaky and all that mumbo jumbo." Gabriel said with a wave of his hand, dismissing talk of Lucifer. "Your past isn't what concerns me."
Gadreel blinked, taking in those words. He never, in his wildest dreams, thought that his crimes would be dismissed so easily.
"They want to know whose side you're on."
Gadreel nearly jolted to his feet at the sound of the voice in his ear. He had been so consumed in his awe he hadn't noticed the young woman on the bed with him draw closer, uncomfortably close.
Castiel was staring at the woman with an almost unreadable expression, but Gabriel was smirking in amusement.
"Don't play too coy sweetheart." Gabriel admonished. "We're wondering the same thing about you."
"I… would like the chance to atone for my sins, to help those I've hurt."
"Right, but the question still is who do you think you've hurt?" Gabriel pressed.
Gadreel frowned. His brother wasn't trying to mince words. He was obviously prodding for a response to know which side of the war he stood on; the angels, or the humans. A moment of realization sparked in his mind. That was what Gabriel meant. Did he think his actions had hurt the angels, the ones who had punished him, or humans, the ones he had actively worked against. It was almost a metaphor for the fights taking place now. Humanity versus the angels. Earth, the world his father cherished, or Heaven, the world he was supposed to call home.
If Gadreel ever hoped for a place in Heaven again he would have to appeal to Michael and the angels, not the humans. But Gadreel wasn't blind. Lucifer may have fallen as an almost direct response to his actions but it was humanity that had paid the price for his mistake.
"I wish to make amends with the humans." Gadreel admitted. A small pang in his chest let him know that he'd probably always want to answer the other way. He'd want to appease Heaven and return to his place there. He wasn't naïve enough to think the angels would allow it though, and maybe that made the choice easier in a way that made him feel just a little bit guilty.
"Welcome to the club then, little brother." Gabriel smiled wolfishly taking a bite out of an overly large chocolate bar.
Harry felt like punching something. He may have stepped out of his room/prison but he hadn't made his way out of Heaven. He could feel the stuffy atmosphere still stifling him. No, he'd just popped from one section of Heaven to another. He took in his surroundings. He didn't seem to be in the pristine, white washed walls of the angel dorms anymore at the very least. So maybe he hadn't boat hopped right into enemy clutches. Small miracles and all that.
Instead he seemed to be in a field at dusk. He narrowed his eyes. It was almost a dead ringer for Earth he'd admit. If it wasn't for the lazy way the wind just sort of seemed to ebb by with no real force behind it, and the distinct lack of manmade pollution that was everywhere these days on Earth Harry might have bought it. He might have been convinced he'd jumped back to the planet/dimension he'd been aiming for. Instead his nose wrinkled in distaste and he was fairly certain he would have opened another portal and jumped through had he not spotted a few figures in the distance waving lazily toward him. Instead, curiosity won out and he heaved a sigh and trudged toward them.
He found that no matter how long he walked they always remained just far enough away to be indistinct. He could make out four of them though, two sitting on the ground and the other two standing and waving endlessly. He gave up after a while figuring they must be some sort of mirage or perhaps just part of Heaven's internal system that was designed to keep its human occupants docile. Still, his trek had brought him somewhere. All around him were rocks and boulders, some small, some as big as sedans.
Harry's fingers trailed over one in particular. Strange symbols had been etched into its face and a rectangle as tall and wide as a door was painted around them. He pushed slightly and felt the rock face move as easily as if he were pushing open a door. He shrugged and stepped through.
The transition was odd. The field hadn't been overly bright but this new place was exceedingly dim by comparison. He took a step and heard the familiar sound of his shoes scuffing on a hardwood floor. He blinked a few times and let his eyes adjust to the sight before him. It was a bar, clearly getting old as the worn floors and countertops showed, but loved and well kempt if the lack of dirt and clutter was anything to judge by.
Chairs were upturned and stacked on the tables. The place had a familiar vibe to it though Harry was having a hard time placing why that was. He'd been around a long, long time. Bars all started to look similar after a while.
It was the sign on the wall above the liquor that had him stopped in his tracks. 'Harvelles'.
"We've got too many people. We need a better safe house." Sam explained for the millionth time as his brother moaned about having to cart people across two states.
"I get it Sammy, I do." Dean glanced in his rear view mirror. He just wanted to know why the demented blonde chick had to ride with them. She was playing with a piece of glass she'd found on the curb the day before and he was really worried she was either going to go for him, Sam, or his leather seats with the sharp tool. Not that he particularly wanted to have to take it away from her either if Bobby's descriptions of her powers were accurate. She might decide he looked better as a smear on the asphalt.
He sighed, at least their drive was nearing an end. They'd be at the safe house Gabriel had given them directions to in just a few minutes. Harry's network was still very much in tact even without Harry there to run it. All the angels had jetted over with their powers leaving the humans to catch up in the vehicles. When someone had mentioned Luna could do the same she'd vehemently denied wanting to and sort of weirdly insisted she get to ride in the 'muggle car'. Though Dean couldn't blame her she seemed overly fascinated with his car in an almost unsettling way.
Dean glanced at his brother who was clearly wearing his 'thinking' face, which Dean was convinced was entirely too similar to his bitch face. Still, he knew his brother well enough to know that Sam had something he wanted to talk about but he was holding back, probably because of their spare passenger. Dean smiled. Well, there was one advantage to the blonde in the back seat.
"Are we nearly there?" the dreamy voice echoed through the cabin. "It's terribly confined in here."
Dean glanced in the rear view mirror. The girl was sprawled across the entirety of the bench seat and somehow the car was still too cramped for her? Go figure.
"It's only another couple of minutes according to the GPS." Sam offered politely cutting off whatever comment his brother had been about to make.
"I've always been fascinated by muggle machines." Luna continued, almost like she hadn't heard Sam. She twisted the glass in her hand a bit before stroking the car seat. "So amazing the things they can do without magic."
Dean was giving her a cursory glance in the mirror as she spoke but he heard a sharp intake of breath from his brother and glanced over. Sam was staring at the blonde like what she'd just said made all the sense in the world. Sam's eyes snapped to his brother and Dean quirked an eyebrow.
Dean could tell Sam was nearly bursting with wanting to say something now.
"So… uh…" Dean refocused on the road which had thinned out to a dirt one lane a few minutes ago. "Looks like we're here."
Sure enough peeking through the trees was a two story colonial style house. Ellen's truck was already parked in front of the porch and they could see Bobby walked around with a bucket of paint in hand. Gabriel had told them the place was already warded but it never was in Bobby's repertoire to leave things to chance. He was probably putting up every sigil he could think of to keep the angel, demons, and other assorted baddies at bay.
Dean brought the car to a stop next to Ellen's truck and Luna was popping out of the door before he'd even killed the engine. That seemed to suit Sam just fine because he turned sideways and gave his brother a wide eyed stare.
"It's been bugging me for awhile…" the taller Winchester started.
"I thought Nicholas Cage was a bad choice for Ghost Rider too." Dean nodded sagely.
"What?" Sam gave him an incredulous look. "No. Hasn't it been bugging you? Her name? I felt like I'd heard it somewhere before."
Dean blinked. Had he heard it somewhere? He'd never been terribly great with names. Not horrible but nothing exceptional, and surely this chick wasn't the only Luna on the face of the Earth. Sure, it wasn't the most common name but it wasn't that weird. "And you remember where you heard it?"
Sam nodded, serious look etched on his face. "That weird memory thing where we talked with Harry's wife. I'm pretty sure they both mentioned a Luna there. They said she predicted him destroying the world."
"So… what? She's a seer? Like Missouri?"
"No, I think… I think she's a wizard."
Sam nodded. "Like Harry."
Dean stared at the girl examining the front door of the house. She swung it back and forth a few times as if experimenting with something she'd never seen.
"Harry's super old right?" Sam continued.
Dean raised an eyebrow focusing back on his brother.
"He found purpose and kept himself sane through all of that but I can't imagine how hard that must have been." Sam shook his head. "Maybe she just… didn't hold up as well."
"You mean she went coo coo for cocoa puffs when God started hitting the reset button?"
"Well…" Dean killed the engine and gave his brother a look. "That's not best news I've heard all day."
"We need information." Jesse growled at the demon in front of him. He set the blade down on the table a paced to the side.
The fucker had the nerve to laugh at the request. Even with his mangled face he still had the gall to look smug. "What makes you think I'd give you anything. This is a cakewalk compared to what I'd get if Crowley found out I'd sold him out."
"Crowley won't find out you sold him out." Jesse replied calmly.
"Yeah, because your monster pals are just that good at keeping secrets." The demon sneered. "Like the location of the alphas. Couldn't pry that one out of them. That's why we've got so many."
Jesse cocked his head to the side. "You'll regret that."
"Will I? Bring it on cupcake."
"You're not done yet?"
Jesse whipped around at Eve's voice. She never came in while he was dealing with demons. She found them distasteful and he had the inkling suspicion that she had a hard time separating him from them when it came right down to it and she didn't particularly want to destroy a useful tool yet.
"I was just finishing up." Jesse reaffirmed holding out a hand. The demon behind him started to spark until the life faded from its eyes and the body went limp.
"Good." Eve smiled. "I think it's time we got serious about all this. And I know just how to start."
So, believe it or not we've made it past the halfway point in this fic a few chapters back. Which of course means conclusions will be coming sooner rather than later. I think this will be the final entry in the saga unless I decide to pick it up again way down the road.
I'll leave the parting words for my final chapter but I did want to say thank you to everyone who's stuck with me thus far. I know it's not the best story out there and sometimes the chapters are few and far between, but I appreciate that you guys enjoy it so much. Well, I'm sort of drunk right now so I'll stop typing. It's been a fun few years. Cheers you guys!
Til next time!