AN: I'm so sorry it took me this long to update, but I'll start on the next bit right away!
For once in his life, Dean was tired of waiting to go to hell. Could they just go already?
Though he did see the importance of stocking up on supplies before they went, grocery shopping was not good for his nerves. Castiel said that the thing they needed to get a lot of was water, that they could do without too much food, if they had to, but water they needed. So, Dean and Cas were carrying big ass cardboard boxes filled with water bottles and practically filling the back seat with them, when Dean felt the first prickle on the back of his neck.
He turned to see a teenage girl, all black hair and piercings, staring at him. Dean stared back for a second, then continued on to the car.
The next prickle came as they finished loading roughly three tons of canned goods in next to the water, and a half-hunched old man glared at Dean out of the corner of his eye.
"Dean," Castiel asked softly, as they leaned in close to arrange stacks of boxes and cans.
"Yeah. I see them."
A cashier scowled at them through the window.
They climbed into the car, Dean told Castiel to put on his seatbelt. Castiel complied.
"Going somewhere, boys?" They must've figured it out or heard him, because the teenage girl walked out in front of them, standing in the middle of the road with her hips cocked, blocking their way out as the other demons circled around them. Her eyes turned black.
"Fuck," Dean muttered. The easiest way out would be to just run them over, but those were innocent people, dammit!
"Drive, Dean," Castiel said, looking straight forward.
"What, and hit the girl that thing's riding?"
"Trust me." It was a stupid idea. Dean revved the Impala. The demon girl didn't back down. "Go," Castiel said.
Dean slammed the gas pedal down, going hard and fast towards the demon, who still made no move to get out of the way. They were about to hit, about to slam into her at about sixty and splatter her over the windshield like a deer and kill the girl and-
The car left the ground.
Just took off like a fucking airplane, front tires first, then back. For one heart stopping second, they were completely in the air, Dean's breath catching in the back of his throat.
And then they landed bouncily on the other side of her, his car a bit shaky but apparently no worse for the wear. Dean gasped.
"Did you just make my car fly?" he asked, his brain feeling slightly numb towards the whole 'gravity not really being a problem' thing. He was most definitely in shock.
"Yes," Castiel said weakly. He looked drained, leaning back in his seat. Lifting a car straight up into the fucking air must have taken a lot out of him. Dean felt a hysterical little giggle in his throat, but pushed it back, because a high speed chase away from a whole fucking pack of demons was not a good time to have a panic attack and he was getting way too old for this shit.
"Don't do that again." Castiel nodded, but made no promises.
Dean rounded the corner, whipping the car around in a way that wouldn't be possible if anyone else was driving any other car. The demons may be magic, but Dean had spent his whole life in his car, unbuilt and rebuilt it so many times that inside it he was untouchable. Blood pounded in his ears as he drove.
"Where'm I goin', Cas?"
"The Passaic." Dean knew where the river was, with dozens of roadmaps in the glovebox and a week to study them on the way there.
Dean just barely avoided hitting a tree, then skidding off the road and right back on as he pulled onto the dirt road leading to the Passaic river hell gate. Dean slowed the car, trying to navigate the path.
"Fuck," Dean said. "It's too narrow."
"Then we walk," Castiel said, despite looking way to weak to even think about walking in the next few days. Apparently, looks weren't too important when it came to angels, and Cas climbed out of the car, slower than usual, but steady. He pulled the seat back and tore open one of the boxes and started stuffing his trenchcoat pockets with plastic water bottles. Dean got up and followed his example, sticking one in each of his jacket pockets.
Dean patted the hood of the car, saying goodbye to the vehicle that had just saved their lives and then had to be left in the woods. He sighed and followed Castiel.
About half an hour hike into the woods, Castiel slumped against a tree.
"You okay, Cas?" Dean asked.
"I am... tired," Castiel said, sliding down the trunk, kneeling at the foot of the tree. Well, that's what he got for throwing a goddamn car into the air, but Dean didn't think it would be very helpful to point that out, while they were being chased by demons. It was motivation time.
"C'mon, we gotta go," Dean said, placing himself directly in front of Castiel. The angel glared at him wearily. Dean held out his hand, and Castiel stared at it like it was an alien life form, which, to an angel, it kind of was.
"Dude," Dean said, shaking his hand once. Cas sighed and grabbed it, allowing himself to be hauled to his feet. "I'll carry the water, you keep walking."
Cas shook his head again, but shrugged off his coat and handed it to Dean. The thing weighed at least twenty pounds, pockets stuffed to bursting, but Dean put it on without complaint. The cuffs covered his hands to the knuckle.
Night fell and they were still walking.
"Cas, since when does Jersey have massive woods like this?"
"We are not in New Jersey," Castiel said.
"Then where the hell are we?"
"We are near hell."
The actual hell gate was a cave at the mouth of the river, and they reached it at what Dean could only assume was one in the morning. He still wore Castiel's trenchcoat, and it wore heavy on his shoulders, more than it should have.
Castiel stood next to him, where he had stopped as they approached the hell gate. The angel was glowing. Well, not glowing like a lamp glowing, but glowing in the way that his skin was at least three shades lighter than when they were on the other side of the hell gate's mojo and Dean could see him clearly even in the dark.
They took cautious steps towards the gate, Dean feeling a weird energy pushing him back, making every movement heavy, like he was under water.
"The seals are weakening," Castiel said abruptly.
"What make you say that?" Dean asked.
"We should not be able to feel this. It is unnatural." Dean wanted to point out that an angel inhabiting someone else's body was also somewhat unnatural, but stopped himself.
Something moved behind them. Never a good sign.
"Cas..." Dean said warningly. Castiel turned to look at him, face light in the dark, and nodded slightly.
The woods around them rustled and snapped with the soft sound of movement. Dean slowly moved closer to Castiel, standing at his side.
"What do we do?" he asked.
"Take my hand," the angel said, head still, but eyes scanning the foliage nervously. Dean hesitated for a second, because Dean Winchester does not hold hands, especially with guys, but wrapped his hand around Castiel's when the angel brushed their palms together. "Close your eyes." Dean complied, tightening his grip on Cas' hand.
"Do not open them."
The inside of Dean's eyelids lightened, turning from pitch black to dark red, from red to pink, from pink to almost blinding white as a wave of heat washed over him. Castiel's hand went loose in his. Demons-- at least he thought they were demons, he had no clue with his eyes shut-- screamed in agony, their eyes burning out as they saw Castiel's true form.
Then the heat disappeared as Castiel's hand drew tight on his again. Dean opened his eyes slowly, dropping Cas' hand. By a quick count, there were eight dead demons laying around them, hands raised to claw at their ruined eyes.
Dean stepped over the nearest body, the teenage girl from the supermarket, and towards the cave.
It figured that the angel who had dragged him out of hell was the one accompanying him back in.