A/N: Hi everyone, I hope you liked my first SPN fic, Escaping the Archangel; here's a new one. This will be a multichapter fic (but only if you people want it too hehe:)
Summary: The brothers and Castiel investigate a demon party preparing for a ritual and meet someone bigger: the King of Hellhounds... Takes place middle 5th season, after 5x10 Abandon All Hope (so please notice that Sam still has his soul:))
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural.
Beta-read by InsideYourDreams24, thank you!
Chapter 1: Surrounded
"Are you sure this is the right place?" Dean asks as they enter the huge dark warehouse.
"Yeah," Sam mutters back and looks around, waiting for the horde of demons to appear but everything remains silent for the time being. "It all fits together. We're right at the center of the pentagram that has Christian churches at its vertices."
The brothers walk slowly in the half light, advancing further and further in the abandoned warehouse, prepared for an attack at any moment. Sam is armed with Ruby's knife, Dean with shotguns and the usual items; Castiel is following them with his typical stoic expression, looking absolutely ignorant to the fact that they could probably be surrounded by a crowd of demons any moment.
Another minute of silent walking and Dean starts to lose his patience. "There's no one here, man. That witch of yours must have been pulling your leg."
"They're coming," Castiel suddenly announces softly but firmly. "I can already feel their presence. They'll be here soon."
"That's good Cas because I can't wait to kick some demon asses," Dean jokes and lifts his gun just a little higher.
"Can you tell how many of them?" Sam asks with a serious and clearly anxious face.
"A lot," is the angel's simple answer and the words have never sounded more ominous than now.
Dean stops smiling at this but he notes though: "The more the better, and the less that will be left roaming outside the pit."
A cracking sound is heard from somewhere in the dark in front of them and the brothers look around more frantically to find the source of the noise. Dean only notices a little later that Castiel has stopped in his tracks behind them.
"We should leave." The angel states plainly and there's something strange in his voice but the hunter can't yet determine what exactly it is.
"What's wrong?" Sam asks, even more nervously.
Castiel's eyes are unusually wide as he seemingly listens to the creatures only he can hear from the distance.
"There's something bigger coming with them," he says at last, then adds a little later: "Or rather someone."
"Who, Cas?" At last, Sam's anxiety has gotten to Dean as well, but the angel remains silent, just standing there as if even he himself didn't believe his words fully. "We should leave," he repeats confidently and the worry behind his words can now be heard clearly.
"Too late, boys," a cold female voice interrupts them and the Winchesters spin around to see a crowd of about fifteen people, men and women, each with the unmistakable black eyes. Their leader, a brown-haired girl stands slightly closer to them than the others, smiling widely at the trio. "Hi Dean, hi Sam, and oh – you brought a special guest!" Her eyes wander on Castiel, almost too casually as she takes in the angel from head to toe. "An angel always means something exceptional... Did you mean him as a gift to us?"
"Someone tell me why is it always the hottest chick of town that happens to be the leader of the shitty demon horde?" Dean mutters. "How I hate those bitches."
Sam thinks about Ruby but doesn't say a thing.
"Well thank you Dean," the demon continues, slowly walking closer to them while the others stay behind. "I can assure you, I have the same impressive opinion of you. Don't worry; I don't want to chat too much more. Now that you were kind enough to show up on our upcoming ritual, I might as well get back my sister's weapon. Maybe we can make a deal?"
"What's so bad about a bunch of demons?" Dean whispers back to Castiel. "Sam and I have already killed a lot more than that."
The angel stays still, not saying anything but gazing somewhere into the distance.
"So boys?" The girl asks in a taunting tone.
"Well all I can say," Dean shouts back, "take it if you can, and kiss my ass while trying."
With that he lifts the gun and aims right between the demon's eyes, but just before he could pull the trigger, she yanks it out of his hands with a smooth move of her hand. Behind her the group also sets off towards the boys and Castiel. Five of them close around Sam who holds the knife high, ready to defend himself. Another four head up to Dean and the demon girl; the hunter keeps turning around, trying not to lose any of them from his sight. He pulls out a tiny, pink and rather childish-looking water pistol, but before the demons could have time to laugh, holy water hits them in the face and chest with a hissing noise. They scream and back away but it's not holding them back for too long; recovering from the attack they come close again, one of them catching Dean's wrist, another getting hold of the pistol and pulling at the hunter's arm, immobilizing him while the leader delivers a couple of kicks to his stomach. Dean groans out in pain and Sam is too busy to help with five or six attackers of his own; but the angel suddenly appears out of nowhere and drives his blade through the back of the demon holding Dean's arm.
For a moment everything silences; humans and demons are all looking at the dying one that collapses slowly on the floor, vibrating in red through his eyes and mouth before fading. Nothing can be heard apart from the breathing of the others, then the leader of the horde hisses: "Kill them!"
Suddenly all hell breaks loose as the demons attack the brothers with new force, obviously angered by the death of their fellow demon. Dean, who has got a hold on the water pistol again, shoots around fiercely; and Sam manages to slice two throats with Ruby's knife while the demons are distracted. In the other side of the room, Castiel is also surrounded, but it doesn't seem like he's in need of much help: the angel blade is working its way through demonic flesh and blood and when it doesn't prove enough, a ray of blinding white light sparks up for a millisecond leaving howling and eyeless demons behind.
The trio doesn't get the chance to finish what they have started. All of a sudden lights flash up everywhere in the room; the seemingly out-of-work lamps of the old warehouse start gleaming with an unusual brightness. Dean unconsciously takes a step backwards; the demons back away from him too. The blade trembles in Castiel's hand.
"Oh don't stop because of me, my friends," a deep and smooth voice says from the far end of the building. "I really don't require all these formalities."
A figure steps out into the light of the lamps; not too tall but not too short either. He looks no more than a simple man but suddenly a silent wave of respect swipes through the group of demons that are still alive. The brothers look at each other, Castiel has been right again.
"Lucifer," Sam whispers.
"Hello, Sam," Lucifer nods, smiling.
The remaining demons, still about ten of them, slowly leave their targets and close up next to him. Castiel also walks up to the Winchesters and stands still, looking right in the eyes of his brother. Lucifer senses his gaze.
"Oh greetings, brother," he stands the angel's stare. "I see you're still tailed to our boys here. It should mean something deeper now, shouldn't it? Or am I wrong?" He teases them, looking almost delighted about his own joke.
Castiel doesn't answer and Dean suddenly realizes, terrified, that the angel is not looking at the devil anymore but at the mere air beside Lucifer's left shoulder. Something occurs to the hunter and the hair on the back of his neck is suddenly standing on edge. The chill he feels is all too familiar.
Lucifer follows his brother's gaze and his smile widens. "Oh, I almost forgot." He pats something at the height of his shoulder. "Isn't he beautiful?"
His words are clearly addressed to Castiel, because Sam is sure there's nothing to see there where the devil's hand hangs in the air.
"What's that, Cas?"
"A hellhound," the angel answers and hearing this Dean closes his eyes because his worst fear has just been proved right.
"Oh, notjust a hellhound," Lucifer shakes his head. "He's the greatest of all hellhounds, the king of them. And he's my most faithful follower. Meet Cerberus."
"Cerberus?" Sam asks, whispering. "Like the dog that guards the entrance of hell in Greek and Latin mythology?"
"As for having three heads, yes," Castiel nods.
"What?" Dean can't believe his ears.
The angel looks at him. "Believe me," he says very seriously, "you don't want to see him."
'Sure thing Cas,'Dean natters mentally, 'you're only forgetting that it's not the looks but the ability to see where exactly to shoot is what I'm more concerned about…'
"Don't say that Castiel," Lucifer interrupts, still in a teasing voice. "He's the most beautiful of all of them. That's why he is my favorite. I'm so sorry I can't see how you will get to know each other, but I have other things to tend to at the moment. But don't worry; I leave him here for you to play. I'm sure he'll like you a lot, Dean."
Dean doesn't return the devil's taunting smile. In fact, he isn't even looking at Lucifer but at the empty air next to him, eager to see the three-headed monster that is starving for his blood. He almost doesn't see the devil leave.
"Just continue what you've begun," Lucifer says, "as if I never was here. Goodbye, everyone. Oh, and Cindy," he addresses the brown-haired demon girl, "remember not to kill the vessel. You know, the more precious one… however, I don't forbid you to play a little with him. Have fun!"
With that, he's no longer there. The moment he's gone, all the lamps go out again in the warehouse except for one, one that remains vibrating annoyingly. Somewhere from where Lucifer has been standing, a deep and threatening growl comes. Dean turns his head frantically around looking for the shotgun, as if it was his only chance to survive.
"Any tips how we can put a muzzle on Spikey, Cas?"
The angel bites back the question about the identity of 'Spikey' as there is no doubt what the hunter is talking about. "Don't worry about him," he says instead. "I will take care of the hellhound. Will you be able to manage with the demons?"
Sam wants to say yes right away; there is nothing he wants more right now than to have that beast as far from his brother as possible. But Dean is quicker with the answer.
"You sure, Cas? Because I heard Lucifer and it seems to me that this Cerberus or whatever is the big deal, the king of all hounds and everything. Do you even stand a chance against him?"
The angel looks back at him and his gaze is somewhat similar to that one he wore when they met for the first time and he told Dean his problem was the lack of faith. "Whatever chance I have," he finally says slowly, "is still a lot more than you would have. Or Sam."
And Dean can't argue with this. Castiel sets off towards the growling air in the far end of the room, and this is the last Dean sees of him because the demons attack again and he and Sam are forced to push their backs up against each other and fight.
They can't hold their position for too long though; the demon girl throws up her arms and both Winchesters are sent flying into two opposite corners. Sam loses Ruby's knife as he hits the wall; it flies out of reach somewhere in the dark.
One of the demons hits him in the face, another one catches his neck.
"You want it, don't you?" A black-eyed, red-haired girl hisses, grinning. "You wanna drink my blood, right? You know what? You're worse than vampires, because vampires drink human blood, and which one do you consider less noble, your blood or ours?"
Sam tries not to listen to her, but he can't deny that he does smell the odor, or rather, scent of demon blood steaming from her nose and mouth every time she breathes. Maybe it is the desire that gives him the strength, and for a small amount of time he obeys it, but ready to stop himself if it comes to the real deal. He pushes both demons aside and punches the girl so that she hits the wall right at the place where he was just a moment ago. The other demon receives a kick to his stomach and using their distraction, Sam dives for the knife, or at least in the direction where he hopes the knife has fallen. He has miscalculated only with a couple of inches; the demon recovers too quickly, catching his ankle and falling on top of him as they hit the floor. Strong hands find the younger Winchester's throat and he finds himself running out of breath once again. But now he can't push himself up with a rush of adrenaline; there's no scent of blood this time as he struggles to get air through his mouth and not his nose.
Just as his vision starts to blurry, his thrashing right hand finally finds the knife. It takes only a swift movement of his arm and the next moment the demon is stretched out on the floor next to him, already dead as his blood soaks the ground. Sam practically flees away from it, trying to outrun the awakening desire in him. He quickly finds the red-haired demon and finishes her off even more quickly, then turns around, panting and looking for more opportunities to distract himself from the growing need.
Castiel and his invisible opponent are nowhere to be seen, so Sam heads for Dean who is surrounded completely and seemingly doesn't have the upper hand as he is being punched repeatedly by the leader woman; the water pistol lies at his feet, empty.
The knife works its way through a demon's neck as easily as the angel blade did mere minutes ago. The remaining ones only realize the new attacker after another of their own is stabbed and fades away.
"About damn time man," Dean groans as he is finally released. The demons that are still alive close around Sam this time and Dean goes searching for his gun, failing to find it but spotting a crowbar instead. It won't kill the sons-of-bitches, but it can still be used as a weapon of some kind, which is proved soon enough as he takes a demon down by a powerful blow to the back of his head.
Ruby's knife gets kicked out of Sam's hand again, but Dean is there and takes hold of it. The brown-haired girl launches herself at him, but as she knocks the hunter off his feet she is greeted with the knife sinking gloriously into her heart.
"Dean!" He hears Sam yell and quickly pushes the girl's body off of himself.
As the last demon slides to the floor, dead by the knife sent into him by Dean, the old warehouse suddenly falls unusually silent. Nothing can be heard apart from Sam's loud panting and the disgusting, sticky sound of the knife being pulled out of the last demon's back.
"You okay?" Dean asks. They'd had tougher fights, but it wasn't a walk in the park either.
Sam nods. "Um… where's Cas?"
The older Winchester looks around, but there's no sign of the angel, neither the three-headed hellhound Cerberus.
"Cas?" Dean calls out loudly, but no answer comes. "Dammit, where the hell is he?"
"I hope he's all right," Sam mutters. "We would've already been accompanied by Cerberus if he…" He doesn't finish the sentence and Dean doesn't even want to hear it.
"That's right. Where's that damn dog?" He asks a little louder, anger and worry mixed in his voice.
"He's dead," a familiar gruff voice suddenly answers him from the far end of the warehouse.
Castiel is standing in the door they came in through, as if he had just dropped in, but somehow he looks a bit too weary; he's leaning heavy on the doorframe and as he starts walking towards them, it seems like he's still groping at the wall for support. Dean notices that he's also limping a bit, only a short before the angel collapses; falling against the wall first then sliding down along it as if he was still trying to get his balance back, but landing on the floor eventually.
Uh oh... I know... best place to leave off...
Please review if you think I should continue!:)