part ii: I have an angel and she's a psychopath
'Great I have an angel and she's a psychopath,' thinks Jimmy. Not that he isn't grateful having someone in the room who doesn't want to fuck and skin him screaming, it's just that pretty much any cloud hopper outside of Castiel isn't anyone he wants to meet particularly. That said, Jimmy likes his odds better with an angel in the room so he chooses that moment to grab Professor's arm and duck forward, dragging the vessel over his shoulders and bowling him into Bombshell's back. He goes down in a tumble with them, their screams of indignation and hate deafeningly loud. He twists sideways and kicks away from the demon pig-pile, nails the Bombshell in the throat.
The angel descends on the demons. She flashes across the room too fast to follow, grabs Bombshell and slams her palm against her forehead, igniting the girl's eyes and rocketing beams of blinding white from the orifices of her skull. There is a terrible shriek and the body drops to the dirty gym floor. But while she is dealing with that Jimmy has only managed to get away from the first two demons. Soccer Mom comes barreling from the left and tackles him to the floor, snarling like an animal. She grabs him by the arm and throws him into the bleachers like he weighs nothing.
He slams into the broken wooden paneling and crashes straight through them. As one can imagine, this feels positively awesome and Jimmy is left sprawled under the brittle woodwork, unable to move. His head is full of hot cicada buzzing. His face feels numb. Groaning, he rolls onto his side, his body sending bursts of pain like fireworks through his brain. His left side is a spiderwebbed network of heat and crunching flares and the effort of moving is so great he just falls limp on the floor again, forehead pressed into the dirt. He cannot breathe.
Jimmy looks up to see the angel peering down at him through the hole in the bleachers. "You're hurt."
"Don't touch me," Jimmy mumbles, crawling away from her.
She cocks her head, that bird-like little quirk that all the angels seem, on some level or another, to share: the split second of inhuman puzzlement, an alien thing looking through human eyes. Jimmy tastes bitter sweet fluid and realizes, seeing the dark liquid spots in the dust, that his mouth is full of blood. The angel clambers through the hole in the seating. She is going to give him magic hands and heal him, but for some reason the possibility of a touch from this angel just makes him want to crawl his broken ribs away faster. She doesn't feel like an answer to prayer.
She looked mildly annoyed. "You are bleeding internally."
"Yeah." He spits blood. (He sells ad time for AM radio.) "I noticed." (He shouldn't be here.)
She ignores his protest this time and presses a hand to the side of his head. There is a sort of 'pop' in reality. A tiny twist in the world. He gasps and the action is free of pain, his lungs allowed to expand without the pressure of broken ribs around them. The angel sits back and surveys him critically before reaching out and gingerly touching his shoulder. It's a contrived motion. Angels don't touch.
"Where is Castiel?"
He stares at her., utterly baffled. "I thought… the angels didn't do this?"
"No." When Jimmy has nothing else to say dark hazel eyes search his face. "You… are protecting him." It's an observation, not a question. "He's been possessing you. He betrayed you. His rebellion resulted in the destruction of your body and for a cause that no longer serves God. Why?"
'Because I have no idea where he is?' He opens his mouth to say something to this effect but what comes out is: "Jael." Which makes no sense until he adds, "Your name is Jael," And tries not to look surprised with himself because he has no idea where that came from.
She tilts her head in that weird sparrow quirk. "You know me," Jael says in the same tone someone might say 'Fascinating' about a mouse in a maze. "You shouldn't know the mind of the one who possesses you. Not unless Castiel is getting chatty… which find difficult to believe. He was never one to share his mind, even with those of us he knew best." She reaches out and grabs his arm above the elbow and not gently. "Clearly you have retained information."
A spark of fear needles through him. "Let go of me."
She ignores him and leads him out onto the basketball court. "What do you remember?"
"Nothing! I woke up here with the demons. You should have asked them."
"I did. They were uncooperative."
Jimmy is incredulous. "Because you made their heads blow off!"
"I gave them their chance," she said and turns Jimmy to face her. Her expression is horrifically blank. "As I am giving you your chance. Where is Castiel?"
"I don't know."
"How did you know my name?"
"I don't know."
"Don't lie to me," she says calmly, eerily, and that's when he knows that she cannot read his mind: because he really doesn't know.
"I don't know anything," he says desperately. Part of him knows it's pointless but he adds, "Just let me go. There's nothing I can do for you."
"You are a vessel," she retorts, utterly tranquil. "If you remember nothing, your bloodline will be utilized by a more worthy brother."
And Jimmy's internal organs blink out of his existence in his belly. He chokes. "What?"
"You are free of Castiel's presence, Jimmy Novak, faithful servant. You may now serve God truly again."
"No." It's a kneejerk reaction.
"No?" She sounds genuinely surprised. "You do not wish to return to the noble service of your Lord."
"You don't serve the lord!"
The silence that falls is deafening and has physical weight to it. It smells of ozone. Jimmy considers that, perhaps, that wasn't the best thing to say to an angel. (To this angel.) Jael gazes at him with and expression that is somehow too blank, too void of emotion as she studies his face and he feels like this is familiar. The crooked cut of her bangs across her brow hides her left eye, but the right sparks briefly with a dangerous glitter: a raw nerve laid bare. It seems impossible, but he actually found something that bothers her. Eventually this too fades and Jael offers him a strange smile and reaches out to cup his face in her hands. He feels like a child, control wrested from him on the basis of 'say-so.'
"I have already called my brother," she says sweetly. "You will see. He is a worthy choice and far superior a guardian."
"You can't," he protests blankly. "You can't."
She strokes his hair comfortingly. "Don't worry. Soon these worries will not be yours. Manakel is a great warrior. Give your consent."
"No!" he cries as the windows begin to shudder. He can hear his name, the syllables shot through with song and static. "No! You can't, dammit! I said no! Do you understand? I'm saying 'no'!"
"For now," she says simply.
It is a testament to his stupidity that he feels betrayal. Jimmy yanks his face away from Jael's gentle touch and she watches him run away from her with a curious disinterest. It's not like he can ran fast enough. She doesn't even stop him when he sprints toward the gymnasium doors, she just flicks a hand and the doors slam shut, trapping him. He rams uselessly against the crash bar, bangs his fist on the door and screams for anyone to help him. (Like any human could.)
"Castiel!" he shouts. "Castiel, where are you?"
The ground is shaking; the floor boards shiver and groan. Jimmy covers his ears but Manakel's voice in already inside his skull, shivering like pins through his thoughts and it guts him how helpless he is. He's on his knees now, curled against the foot of the double doors. 'God please. Lord. God please. God I'm praying. Help me.' There is a presence in the room, hot and heavy as a change in barometric pressure. 'Help me.'
"You have nothing to fear." Manakel sounds like mountains falling, or artillery rounds exploding in his brain. His eyes hurt. His bones ache. His muscles cramp and he thinks Castiel never felt like this. Cas was like heavy rain and distant thunder; this son-of-a-bitch (not God) is like an M-16 going off. "James Novak, be unafraid."
"Too late!" he shouts back, laughing hysterically because it isn't fair. None of this is fair. Even when he said 'yes' gave up everything, did it twice, it doesn't matter because no one was watching or protecting or helping because… because… He can't make himself curse God because pathetic as it seems He is the last solid – oxymoronic – hope he has left. So Jimmy prays while the gym shakes itself apart, falls forward on one hand and – Ow! God! Cuts his palm on a shard of broken glass? Are you serious? The wound gushes blood furiously, a jag of wet pain racing up his wrist to his shoulder and this makes Jimmy so fucking mad he can't see straight. "You are kidding me!" he screams and Jael cocks her head and the Manakel – who is trying to crush his brain like a soda can – ignores him. "Unbelievable! Totally… just… Goddammit!"
Then there is a click, like a light coming on in a dark spot in his head and suddenly he clearly sees…
Jimmy clenches his hand, ignores the pain and uncurls his fingers sopped in liquid red. Then he turns to the door and draws a bloody ring on the chipped metal. There is so much blood running from the gash it take just one stroke to leave a glistening circle then he works on the functionary sigil in the center. Jael sees this and emits a very unangelic noise of rage. Doesn't matter because Jimmy's hands are moving like he's done this a thousand times – thousands of an uncounted hundred thousand times – and he finishes the Sigil of Banishment just as her hand closes on his shoulder. He slams his palm against the centre of the rune.
Energy snaps up his arm from the point of impact against his hand, a crackle like a live current zips through his fingertips and blows through him into the room. It doesn't hurt him – it kind of feels like winds rushing though his blood or a G tone in his skeleton – but it sure as hell does something to the angels. It blasts Jael's hand off him and throws her back. She staggers, thrashes and jerks and twitches like a Huntington's patient and the gym ignites with lightening but there is no strike. Jael is bleached white in a burst of photonegative, the room screams, the gym bends inward like it will collapse… then snaps back into place and suddenly she and Manakel are gone.
The room is empty.
Jimmy collapses against the foot of the double doors and slumps there, still bleeding, and let his mind blank gloriously because he's safe. Somehow. Impossibly…
And hears someone clapping? Jimmy looks up to his immediate right and sees a man in an Armani suit standing, smiling and putting his hands together like a man beginning a standing ovation. Jimmy didn't hear him open the door and never saw him enter. He exudes something ugly. It poisons the air like sulfur. "Bravo, Jimbo," says the man in a confusing British accent. "That was brilliant. Didn't think those tossers would ever get out of it. Good show. Now." His grin becomes dualistic, underlain with intent. "Why don't you come with me?"
Author's Note: Well this is just not going well for our intrepid hero is it? Who is the man in the Armani suit? Why is he here? Where's Cas? And, of course, when will the Winchesters be joining the party? Reviews inspire the mind.