Prologue: The Darkness

Dean slouched in one of the chairs beside the study tables in the Bunker. His mind drifted through all the things that had happened recently and he absentmindedly ran his fingers over his right arm. The Mark was finally gone, but the price they had paid had been high, as they had released something way more evil into the world. They had barely survived their first encounter with this ancient force. He looked in the general direction of the sleeping quarters, where in one of them Castiel was completely knocked out from the attack-dog spell that freaking witch had used on him. Sam and he himself were just as exhausted and would have liked to just lay down and sleep if it weren't for the sole reason that they had to do something. Crowley slowly paced on the other side of the table. Cas had given him a run for his money, but he just didn't want to sit down either.
"I have a really bad feeling about this whole thing...", Dean remarked after a while, looking first at his brother then at the Demon.
"Then maybe you shouldn't have gotten us into this mess in the first place?!", Crowley suggested.
"You shut up! I didn't want this! It was your mother who enacted the spell!", Dean shot back angrily, pointing at the other.
"Guys! Guys! There's no point in putting the blame on each other. We're in this mess, so let's figure out how to get out of it!", Sam intervened, raising his arms.
"Well, then Moose. I'm all ears. How do we defeat The Darkness?", Crowley wanted to know, crossing his arms.
"I don't know. But I think I know what they're after"
"Really?", Dean unnecessarily asked, while Crowley just made a hurrying gesture.
"Well, if we can trust the stories then Darkness is always out to destroy Light, right?", Sam theorized and continued without waiting for an answer. "That means whatever they are going to do, part of it will be to search for the brightest Light there is and destroy it"
"Do they have access to Heaven?", Dean asked after contemplating his brothers' words for a moment.
"I mean, Death said it were the Archangels that first put the Darkness into its hole, so maybe it is looking for them as their possible worst enemies", he added, when the others looked at him questioningly.
"The Archangels sealed them away?", Sam wanted to make sure.
"Good thing they're all out of business", Crowley added his own thoughts sarcastically.
"Screw you. We know that", Dean replied in annoyance.
"Technically only two of them are dead. Just as we don't know if they can access Heaven, we don't know if they have a way to access Lucifer's cage", Sam pointed out.
They sat in silence for a little while, all lost in their own thoughts. Crowley paced a few times back and forth until he stood still and sighed.
"I know someone who might be able to help you. If he's willing is a totally different story, though", he revealed handing Dean a newly created piece of paper with a neatly written address on it.
"Who is it?", Dean wanted to know.
"Keep me posted", the Demon merely answered and vanished.
"Son of Bitch", Dean grumbled and studied the address.

A few days later the Winchesters and Castiel were driving towards the address. They had tried to persuade the Angel to stay in the Bunker to recover, but he wouldn't listen. Sam had done some research, but the only information he could find on the houses' tenant was that she was in early thirties and a journalist for the local newspapers and a couple of online magazines. There was no mention anywhere in her records that there was a male currently living with her, so their hopes to find the person Crowley had sent them to, where pretty low. What made matters worse was the dark cloud in the distance that slowly but surely closed in onto the small town. Dean parked the Impala in front of the house and the three of them walked over to the door.
"I-I feel a lot of Grace coming from this place...", Castiel remarked, his face turned into a frown.
"Grace? You sure?", Dean asked him in confusion.
"Maybe that's why the Darkness is closing in on this place, they feel it too?", Sam suggested.
"Well, only one way to find out", Dean stated.
As if on cue, Castiel lifted his arm to burst the door open, when Sam stopped him.
"How about we try knocking first?"
Castiel looked at him in confusion, then lowered his arm.
"Of course", he agreed.
Sam gave him a short smile, turned around to knock and ring the doorbell. They heard the echo of the tune while they waited for a moment until the door was opened far enough for a face to peak outside in confusion.
"Hi, can we talk to you for a second?", Sam greeted the woman with a warm smile.
"You may", she answered cooly, not opening the door.
"Without you hiding behind the door, please?", Sam tried next when Dean interjected: "Crowley sent us"
"Dean!", Sam chastised him.
"What? If this really is the address he gave us, then she should know him and probably the guy he sent us to meet here", Dean stated in a matter of fact tone.
The woman opened the door a bit wider, but before anyone could say anything more Castiel used the chance to stride through the door.
"Cas!", Dean called out, but the Angel ignored him.
"Sorry!", Sam apologized as they both followed him inside, leaving her baffled at the door.

Inside Castiel had found his way through the hallway and the joined kitchen and living room into the bedroom that ran parallel to the hallway. Slowly he walked up to the wall that had a darkened hue to it and ran his fingertips across it.
"Impossible...", he mumbled, starring at his fingers, that now had a thin layer of ashes on them.
"What is it, Cas?", Dean wanted to know, standing outside the door in the kitchen part of the room, while Sam positioned himself on the other side towards the living room.
"This Grace...", Castiel started and paused, not believing his own discovery.
He had turned to them, his eyes still locked onto his fingers
"What about it?", Sam asked this time.
"It's - ", the other wanted to explain, but was interrupted.
"Miss me?", someone else asked from behind the brothers in a mocking tone.
Alarmed they turned around, their hands automatically pulling their weapons, to find someone they had not expected to see ever again, standing there as if nothing had happened.
"Gabriel's", Cas finished his sentence, looking up at his brother in confusion.
"You Son of Bitch!", Dean cursed.

Author's Note: This story was not planned. It just happened. I started thinking about stories for my Fic "Chance Meetings" and I knew I wanted to write something with a certain character. Well, as that little bugger - *cough*Gabriel*cough* - just didn't want to leave me alone the One Shot escalated into the story "Tricked", which in turn created this alternative version of Season 11 – and let me tell you: So far I have not seen anything, not the Trailer nor Promos, let alone Episodes and I want to stay away from it until I finish writing this idea to not compromise it. But as I know my own curiosity I will try to hurry up with publishing this one, even though I wanted to only post it when I'm actually completely finished writing.

Just so you know: For convenience reasons I decided to skip the "first" episode and the breaking of the attack-dog spell and jumped right into the part of the story I want to tell. There also wont be that many cases mentioned or followed, as I'd like to keep the focus on other things.

Some of the ideas I use throughout the story are probably strange and different, but I did put some thought into them and not randomly made those decisions! A lot is also seemingly left unexplained – especially regarding the semi-main character-, but some of it will be explained later on, other things in Tricked, I just need to update both stories regularly...we'll see how that will work out..

Well, I like Prologues and this story didn't originally have one, but while writing this chapter, I thought that this might be a good break, before we jump into the whole discussion and action.
If anyone is interested: I blame Gabriel entirely for this whole storyline. That little bugger just didn't leave me alone...a*hole...-.-...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story so far. Chapter One will be up soon!

Disclaimer for this and the following chapters: I obviously don't own Supernatural and it's characters. The theories I created and/or used for/in this story are based on my own thoughts regarding their part in the actual canon.