Authors Note: I do not own the Dresden Files or Supernatural. Plot does contain information from the Supernatural Tie-in novel "Nevermore" by Keith Dicandido.
Spoilers for all aired episodes and published books as of December 2009.
Murphy's Law went into effect after Carthage.
There was no whiskey to drink in the wake of Ellen and Jo's attempts to put an angel under the table the evening before their deaths. Sam and Dean had put a sizable dent that same night into Bobby's stash of beer too. So the three hunters stood over the fireplace that evening watching black and white memories burn into ashes with nothing to take the edge off their pain.
In the days that followed though, Dean had acquired a bottle or three of Jack Daniels. He drank the entire contents of one in the process of pouring through stacks of tomes and passing out on the couch and woke up with a panicked cry and a cold sweat in the middle of the same night, startling Sam out of his own drunken stupor. The next morning the youngest Winchester found his brother in the panic room deciphering the ingredients of goofer dust instead at the kitchen table eating the breakfast Bobby had prepared.
That was the way things were for about three days until Castiel appeared on Bobby's front step, bleeding buckets into the thin layer of snow that coated the frozen earth. Sam had stepped outside at just the right moment to go to the store when the angel staggered and collapsed into the wooden deck of the porch.
"Oh god!" Sam scrambled, catching the slighter man under the arms. It did little to stop his knees from smacking into the hard wood, but it would save him from cracking his head open. "Cas? CAS!"
The angel reached up with a shaky hand and grabbed a hold of Sam's collar, managing with what was left of his willpower to look the younger Winchester in the face. Blood trickled from an ugly head wound just under the line of Jimmy Novak's hair.
"Ca…Cas…" The man repeated. "Is…is…busy…" He choked out through a mouthful of blood.
Sam's eyes widen in horror just as he twisted to look over his shoulder and yell into the house. "DEAN! BOBBY!"
Jimmy moaned as he teetered dangerously back. The younger brother took a hold of the man and heaved him back up to his feet, enough to carry him over the threshold and into the kitchen. Sam kicked the door shut and let the vessel sink limply to the floor with a grimace just as the thunder of footfalls reached the top of the stairs and Dean appeared from down the hallway, Colt in hand. Bobby came wheeling out of his library, shotgun pillowed in his lap.
"Christ on a cracker boy!" Bobby exclaimed as he started to pick up his gun and point it at the door beyond Sam's head. "Was he followed!?"
"I didn't see anyone!" Sam said hurriedly as he reached around Jimmy's body and began pulling at his tie and the buttons of his shirt. "Dean! Get me the first aid kit!"
"Cas alright?" The hunter asked, concerned noted in his voice but he wasn't about the dash off yet.
"It's not Cas!" Sam announced as he exposed Jimmy's chest, which was banded with layers of black and blue. The man under him grimaced and then cried out when the younger hunter prodded at his ribs, checking for breaks. "It's Jimmy!"
Dean was snapped out of his reverie, bolting back through the house for the first aid kit. He came running back, handing over the large white box and turning to the sink. He began washing his hands and pouring water into a nearby saucepan.
"How bad is it?" Bobby asked, gun trained on the door. He cast the two on the floor careful glances but was still expecting that at any moment the whole of the Heavenly Host would be arriving for tea and cookies.
Sam peeled back more of the shirt, exposing a bloody wound. He bit his lip to keep from hissing in sympathy for the poor man still wriggling under him. A whole sleeve had been torn off the trench coat and exposed a forearm that was oozing blood from a carefully made incision. It appeared to be the newer of the wounds he could see. Scarlet had managed to fall from the head wound, dripping into Jimmy's right eye, which was started to discolor with a bruise. The rest of the damage appeared to be minor cuts to his legs, a few bruised (thankfully not cracked) ribs, and a shallow stab wound that grazed Jimmy's neck on the left side.
"He'll live." Sam said firmly, which gave Dean pause enough to look back and then set to work on producing hot clean water. "Jimmy, what happened to Cas?"
Jimmy swallowed thickly; apparently he had taken a blow to the jaw and was bleeding from a wound on the inside of his cheek. "He…he's here…" He managed. "He's…he's trying to…heal…"
Dean dropped down across from Sam, holding a steaming pot of water in his clean hands. "He didn't get taken away?"
Jimmy shook his head, which made him wince since it pulled at his neck. "Cut off from Heaven…not enough power…trying to…keep us alive…gave control… still…here…" He ground out with heavy pants.
"Okay, okay." Dean raised his hands. He torn into the first aid kit and dumped its contents on the kitchen floor. Sam got to his feet to start washing his hands when Bobby shoved the shotgun at him.
"Take a walk." He ordered. "Make sure he wasn't followed."
Sam paused for a moment to contemplate his options, not really sure if it was in everyone's best interest to let Dean in god know what state of intoxication handle stitching up an angel and his conscious vessel when there came a gentle knock at the front door.
Dean snapped out his work in a flash, Colt now trained on the door while Sam took a stance and loaded a shell into the chamber.
"Put the guns down boys." A voice said through the wooden door. "I'm just covering the retreat."
The three hunters looked between each other when Jimmy groaned. "It's…it's Gab…riel…" He motioned with his only good hand towards the door.
Sam stepped over Jimmy and Dean, pressing the barrel of the shotgun against the wood before opening the door enough to peak out.
Standing right were Jimmy had been minutes before was Gabriel, formerly known as the Trickster. He appeared slightly flustered and disheveled, dressed in the same jacket and jeans they had last seen him in. The archangel stood with his feet apart and hands raised in a gesture of peace.
"I knocked." Gabriel said. "Could have blown down the door." He craned his neck to one side and peered pass Sam to the floor. "How you holding up Jimmy?"
Jimmy clenched his teeth. "Asshole." He hissed.
Gabriel looked back up at Sam. "I could just take off now that I know you two chuckleheads are looking out for him, but we've gotta talk."
"We're a little busy right now." Dean groused as he dropped the Colt onto the floor and went back to staunching blood. "Unless you plan on helping us with this—"
At once there was the presence to two women, a blonde and a brunette, dressed in the smallest of medical coats kneeling around them. The blonde swapped a dishcloth of hot water against Jimmy's head wound, flushing his bad eye of any blood while another took a pair of scissors and began to cut the layers of coats and shirt off Jimmy's mangled body. While the glamour was ridiculous to watch, they were expediting the process of patching the wounded vessel and angel back up.
It took them all by surprise for a moment, Bobby in particular. He managed to fix his jaw back into place though and motioned for Sam to step out of the door. Gabriel stepped in and peeled off his coat.
He turned to Bobby. "Got any guest bedrooms?" The archangel asked while he rolled his sleeves.
With Jimmy and Castiel stitched up, patched up, and drugged up, the hunters abandoned him in the master bedroom upstairs, formerly Bobby's old bedroom before being confined to his wheelchair. Sam and Dean returned downstairs to find Gabriel's two stunning nurses down dressed in French maid attire and cleaning the kitchen and making what appeared to be dinner.
The Winchesters came into the library to find Gabriel sat before an open fire, a tome in hand and lazily flipping pages with Bobby looking on from his desk. The two brothers paused before sight and contemplated the bizarre tableau before them for several minutes. Dean crossed his arms over his chest and set his jaw while Sam took up guard in the hallway between them and the stunning maids.
"What the hell was that?" Dean demanded.
"That?" Gabriel pointed to the kitchen. "Or that?" He pointed up to the roof.
"That." Dean pointed up.
The archangel sighed and closed the dusty tome sitting in his lap. "Heard about what happened in Carthage. Cas decided to step up his search and ended up running smack in Zach and his buddies having a powwow in Greenland. This got bloody."
"No shit." The older brother announced. "How'd you get dragged into this?"
"Cas was running, managed to lose them…he dropped in on me and asked for help. Said he couldn't risk going back to you without bringing the whole Host on your heads, so he asked me to cover his tracks." Gabriel explained, setting the tome down on a teetering stack and standing up to stretch. "I told him to conserve his power, let Jimmy take the wheel and I'd zap him here."
Dean pursed his lips in contemplation. "So Cas really is okay?"
"He's fine. Jimmy wasn't." Gabriel said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "Cas couldn't shield him from the pain and Zach hurt the two of them pretty good. When I told Cas to save his power, he went to work on healing the internal injuries. He knew you could handle the rest."
"And Zach didn't follow you here?"
Gabriel scoffed. "No. Please, I'm for Team Winchester. You honestly think I'd lead that asswipe here? He might be my brother but I don't have to like him." He leaned around Dean into the kitchen. "How's it coming girls?"
"Almost done!" Two sweet voices chimed.
"Aren't they the best?" Gabriel asked, straightening. "They make a mean roast. If you want, I can loan them to you for Thanksgiving too. Isn't that in three days?"
Dean pinned a pointed look on the archangel, neither interested in his offer or the fact that dinner was doing a great job masking the smell of antibiotics and blood. "You said you wanted to talk. What about? We're sorta busy."
"Oh yeah. I can see that." Gabriel stepped back to gesture to the room, which was a clutter of books and empty bottles of liquor. "Doing a great job sitting on your asses being sorry for yourselves."
At this Bobby banged his fist on the old wooden desk. He hit it hard enough to make the piles of texts and papers shudder with impact. "You shut your god damn mouth."
"No." Gabriel shot back. "I won't. It's about time someone showed up and gave you all a kick in the pants." He turned and met Dean's hardening glare and Sam's somber expression. "I've got news. Good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?"
Sam took a step forward and said quietly when no one rushed in to answer, "We had nothing but bad. Might as well start there."
"Cas lost the amulet." Gabriel announced.
It took all of a fraction of a second for that to register in Dean's brain. He felt his jaw coming undone in an instant before hearing a strangled choking noise from Sam. He took a measured step back and looked around the room. Somewhere deep in the pit of his stomach it felt as if he had part of him torn off…that Alistair had sunk his hand to the knuckles into his chest and grabbed a hold of his still beating heart and squeezed.
Squeezed until it stopped.
"Where is it?!" Sam demanded, snapping Dean out of his thoughts. "Who took it?!"
Gabriel raised a hand, motioning for the now panicked Winchester to lower his voice. "The demons don't have it and neither do the angels." He explained. "Castiel was worried that if he was captured, they'd take it from him. So he ripped a hole in the veil and left it there." The archangel sighed a little. "I went back to get it after I sent him here. It was long gone. Something beyond the veil took it."
"He lost it?" Dean repeated.
Gabriel moved his hand to Dean, telling him to wait a moment. "Cas plans to get it back. First thing he plans to do once he's up."
"Which will take him how long?" The elder Winchester demanded, doing his best not to speak through his teeth.
Gabriel's lips thinned. "A day, maybe two. He's cut off the Host. Maintaining that body for two is already putting more strain on him than he can manage. In any normal situation, Jimmy Novak would have been blissfully unaware through the assault." He sighed a little. "When Cas gets on his feet, you're gonna need to get him into the habit of more human things. Show him what eat to maintain energy, sleep to restore him…basic first aid."
Dean raised his own hand for silence. "Alright, we get the point." He closed his eyes with a careful release of breath, letting some of the welling frustration in him go. It wasn't going to do him any good to storm upstairs and shake the wounded angel senseless. "What about your good news?"
The archangel nodded. "If I had known you had planned to use the Colt I would have told you before hand that it wouldn't have worked."
"Thank you." Bobby spat. "Thank you for that enlightening discovery. Too bad is a week too god damn late!"
"I'm sorry about what happened to the Harvelles." Gabriel raised his voice in defense. "I knew something was going down with one of the Horsemen, I just wasn't sure when and where! Been out of the loop for a while now, so cut a guy some slack. I'm building my burned bridges back as fast as I can, okay!" He pinned Bobby with a cold glare. "When I finally found out what the game plan was, I got to Carthage as quick as I could."
Sam swallowed thickly. "When?" He demanded.
The archangel sighed in dismay. "Just after the three of you left." He said somberly. He met Dean's calculating eyes and shook his head. "If I had been there sooner, I would have helped."
"Did you stop the Horseman?" Dean asked.
Gabriel scoffed. "And risk getting my ass kicked by big brother? No. Oh, and don't start thinking you can shoot one of those guys either. They fall under that list of things that pop gun can't kill."
"Is this the good news?" Bobby groused.
"No." Gabriel snapped. "The good news is that before I figured out what you chuckleheads were doing, I stumbled across some old texts about some swords. Real swords, not some metaphorical bullshit."
Dean crossed his arms over his chest. "Fine. But before you get into all the details, tell us straight up, just how useful are these swords supposed to be?" he demanded.
The archangel bit into his lower lip, contemplating his answer. He closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
"These are swords made for use against angels."