"Are you out of your freaking mind?" Dean said. "I'm sitting right here. He didn't do this."
"Sir, please stay out of this," said the tall, brown haired cop, before gripping Sam tightly by the upper arm. "You're going to have to come down to the station."
"It's okay, Dean," Sam said, looking thoroughly done. "We'll sort this out later."
"No, we're gonna sort this now." Dean was about to go off on a rant about how completely ridiculous the whole situation was, when a cold feeling of dread rushed over him. Winchester, he thought. They called him Winchester.
Slowly and casually, trying not to attract any unwanted attention, Dean reached out and placed his hand on the chart that was hanging over the end of his bed, his fingers resting just over the line that read: Dean Singer. No one here could have known their real names, which meant that the two armed cops that were restraining his brother weren't cops at all.
"Sammy," he said, fixing him with a look that meant only one thing - we're in trouble. "You let me know if you need a hand." Sam took the hint and glanced down to his Dean's hand and his eyes widened.
At once, Sam and Dean lunged at the cops. Sam threw himself against the one who was holding him and even with his hands cuffed behind his back, he was strong enough to send him flying backwards in to the wall. Dean punched the other cop across the face with his uninjured hand and tried to reach for his gun, but the cop retaliated instantly by kicking Dean hard in the stomach, making him stumble backwards. Sam rushed to Dean's side, just as the two policemen straightened up. Simultaneously, they blinked and their eyes flicked to black.
"Nice try," said the tall one, closing the door slowly behind him and drawing the blinds. Together they pulled their guns from their holsters and pointed them at Sam and Dean. "Abbadon sends her regards." Dean stepped reflexively in front of Sam.
"What the hell do we do now?" Sam whispered.
"I don't know," Dean hissed back. "Talk!"
"Uh, you know Crowley would be pretty mad if he heard you had killed us," Sam said, hurriedly. The frontmost demon gave a short, derisive laugh.
"We don't work for Crowley anymore."
"But he's still the King of Hell. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to mess with him. And he's pretty fond of us." For a split second, Dean thought he saw a flash of doubt on their faces. But the taller demon shrugged and raised his gun to point at Dean. He clicked the hammer in to position, aimed between Dean's eyes. With a strangled cry of pain and a flash of orange light, the demon at the door fell to the ground, revealing Cas standing behind him, a look of fury on his face.
"Dean," he said, tossing an angel blade over to him. Dean caught it, just as the second demon raised his gun again. Cas threw himself at the demon grabbing him by the arms and holding him tightly. The demon fought hard against him, waving the gun blindly. In one swift movement, Dean lunged forward and thrust the blade in to the demon's chest, and as he did so, the gun went off in his hand. The demon fell to his knees and joining his partner on the floor, twitching and spasming with orange light.
"Good timing," Dean said breathlessly, grinning at Cas. But Cas's face fell when he looked behind Dean at Sam, and realised where the stray bullet had landed. Dean whipped around and saw fresh blood begin to soak through Sam's flannel shirt.
"I'm okay," he said, walking over to the bed and sitting down, hands still cuffed behind him. Dean tugged up his brother's shirt roughly, inspecting the damage. The bullet had only grazed him, but still it left a long, deep trench in his skin. "Seriously Dean, I'm fine, would you just get these cuffs off me?" Dean searched through Sam's jacket for a moment before finally finding the lock pick and freeing his brother. "Can we please go home now?" Sam asked, stripping the pillow case from the pillow on the bed and pressing it to his bleeding side. But before Dean could agree, he heard a familiarly infuriating voice.
"Wassup fellas." Crowley stood once again in the room with them, leaning against the wall, looking terrible. "Oh that's not right. I meant hello boys."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Sam asked, observing the so-called King of Hell with mild disgust.
"Nothing," he slurred, pushing his hair away from his sweaty forehead. "I have to tell you something really important. Abbadon is sending two demons after you and they'll be here any minute so you have to go. Cos, y'know, they might kill you."
"You're a little late to the party," Dean said. Crowley looked confused for a second before he noticed the bodies on the floor.
"Woops," he said, with a chuckle. Discarding his pillowcase, Sam walked up to him, grabbed him firmly by the arm and pushed up his jacket sleeve, revealing several red puncture wounds in his pallid skin.
"He's on human blood again," Sam said, dropping his grip on Crowley as though he were radioactive. Crowley pulled his sleeve back down, covering the needle marks, but immediately started scratching at them. He reminded Dean of a dog covered in fleas.
"So this is why you helped us," Sam said. "You're off your face on human emotions."
"Can't I just do something nice for a couple of boys who have been through enough as it is?" Crowley asked, his voice cracking.
"No," said Dean, Sam and Cas in unison.
"Get out of here Crowley," Dean said. "Unless you have a lead on the First Blade I don't want to see you. And clean yourself up. Seriously, have a bit of self-respect."
"You know you're really starting to hurt my feelings," he said, before he vanished.
"We need to leave," Cas said, glancing back at the spot where Crowley had stood with resentment in his eyes. "Someone will have heard the gunshot and we can't be found with two dead police officers."
They gathered their things, picked up the guns from the floor and slipped out of the door in to the hallway. A few people turned to look at them as they emerged.
"Sorry," Dean said, closing the door carefully behind him. "Guess I had the TV on a little loud." They walked swiftly along the corridor, away from the suspicious glares of the staff and as soon as they were out of sight, they started running and didn't stop until they were standing out in the snow, two blocks away from the hospital.
Sam and Dean were panting by the time they felt they were a safe distance from the bloody crime scene, and Cas looked on the verge of toppling over again. Dean pulled the angel's arm over his shoulder while Sam hurried down the row of parked cars looking for one with the door open.
"You okay?" Dean asked, glancing at Cas.
"Never better," he said with a little smile. At last, Sam found a red Toyota that someone had left unlocked and went to open the front passenger door, but Dean stopped him.
"Nice try, Sammy, but Cas is riding shotgun, remember?"
"How are you going to drive with your arm in a cast anyway?" Sam protested.
"I'll still drive better than you can with both hands." Dean helped an exhausted Cas in to the front before setting about hot-wiring their new ride. As they sat in the car, two police cars flew past, sirens blaring, heading for the hospital, and Dean got the feeling that they wouldn't be welcome in Alaska for the next few years. At last the engine growled in to life and Dean pulled out on to the road.
"You ready to get back to Kansas, Dorothy?" Dean asked, grinning at Cas.
"Absolutely," he said.
Dean looked at Sam in the rear view mirror. "How about you, Toto?"
"Shut up." There was a short silence and then Sam added, "jerk."
Dean glanced back at his brother with a smile. "Bitch."
One week, five motels and three and a half thousand miles later they made it back to the bunker. Most of their injuries had healed and Dean had hacked off the cast on his arm with the demon blade on their second day, not just because it was irritating him, but also because Sammy had drawn impressively graphic pictures all over it while Dean was sleeping, and he was somewhat uncomfortable to be seen in public with it.
Their first night back home was a quiet one. They decided to continue Cas's cultural education by watching the Lord of the Rings, and as far as Dean could tell, he was enjoying it almost as much as Sam. Cas was leaning forward in his seat, head tilted slightly to the side, engrossed in the movie, while Sam was staring fixedly at the screen, blindly shovelling popcorn in to his mouth. As he observed his little family, Dean felt a strange sense of deja vu and it took him a moment to realise why it felt familiar.
"If Cas was sitting about an inch away from me, this scene would be perfect." Dean said and then he stopped abruptly as he realised he had said the words aloud. Cas looked over at his curiously, Sam choked on a mouthful of beer.
"Something you want to tell me?" Sam asked, wiping his chin. Dean chuckled and scratched the back of his head, trying to hide his slight embarrassment.
"Okay, so back in the alleyway when I thought I was going to die, I uh… tried to think of a happy place and this is the first thing that came to mind. You know, us hanging out, Cas ignoring all social etiquette… that kind of stuff."
"This is your happy place?" Sam asked, looking around at the dimly lit room. "A dusty bunker and cold pizza? It's not very imaginative." Dean just shrugged but Cas seemed to have a moment of realisation and he smiled.
"The location and activities aren't important," he said. "You're happy because we're together and no one is arguing or dying."
"Bingo," said Dean. Cas scooted along the sofa until he was right beside Dean who laughed, kicked his feet up on to the table and put his arm around the back of the couch. Sam met his eye and he smiled too.
"You know what?" said Sam. "I take it back. This isn't a bad place to be."
A/N Well, that's it! Thank you so much for reading. I would love to hear what you guys thought of the story, you make my day! Take care, CMPerry.