Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Erik Kripke, Warner Brothers and quite possibly others who are not mentioned here. No money will be made from this fan fiction.
Summary: When Dean goes to sell his soul at the crossroads to bring Sam back, someone else steps in to negotiate the deal. Cas did get a sign and it sent him off into the past to change things. AU from The Man Who Would be King and All Hell Breaks Loose.
Author's note: Added a little to this chapter, just to explain who Abaddon is possessing (thank you Eloquent Aspen for the note).
It's All in the Details
Gabriel was feeling somewhat disgusted by everything. Anna might do something she would always regret, Cas, the idiot was on the sick list, and the Winchesters were being more annoying than usual. Added to that, Bobby and his friends were still going over the prophet's notes (current reason for annoying Winchesters), Alistair, the bastard, was walking the Earth and a certain Trickster hadn't gotten to play a good joke on a certain King of the Crossroads in over a week.
Worse, he was probably going to have to pitch in and help, especially with Cas off the playing field for now.
If the timeline were cognizant in the way humans were, it would be having indigestion right about now. Things were twisting around, all uncomfortable like and it couldn't seem to do anything about bigger problems. Therefore, it decided to focus on a smaller irritation.
In the original timeline, this little hiccup wouldn't have shown up for several more years. But, to borrow and mangle a phrase, the wibbly wobbly stuff that is time, decided to sick it up right now.
Gabriel snapped Jimmy/Cas, Dean, Sam and yes, the Impala, to Cas' safe house in North Dakota. He then snapped up enough food and entertainment to keep Novak going for a year, though hopefully it wouldn't take Castiel more than a few weeks to recover.
Much to Dean's disappointment, Jimmy made Gabriel remove the strippers and the serving girls.
Gabriel left, muttering something about bouncing Crowley through a number of TV shows.
"If he does, I hope he sticks him in a diarrhoea commercial." Dean said. Beside him, Sam shifted uncomfortably.
"What? Don't want to see Crowley suffer something uncomfortable and annoying?"
Sam shrugged. "Just thought something worse might be better. Like maybe, genital herpes?"
Sam shook his head. "Yeah, don't know where that thought came from."
Jimmy looked at the 60" wide screen TV Gabriel had snapped into existence, and decided to read a book.
The three of them ate dinner together. Dean and Sam were staying the night and heading on to Bobby's place in the morning. The closeness (just one state away) to the older hunter was one of the things that made Jimmy pick the North Dakota safe house over the others.
One large guest room in the house had two queen size beds in it and the brothers picked it to sleep in. Dean dropped down on one of the beds, giving it an experimental bounce. It was far superior to any motel mattress, but despite the comfort, he was glad they'd be away in the morning. Jimmy seemed like an okay guy, but him not being Cas was starting to weird him out.
They didn't bother to bring in much from the car. Cas in Martha Stewart decorating mode had provided the guest rooms with toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, combs, razors, etc.) he'd also provided sleepwear and robes. So the only things the brothers brought in were the basic guns, holy water and knives they always carried on them.
Dean was just starting to take off his outer shirt, when the closet door rattled.
Sam and Dean pulled their guns and pointed it at the closet. Dean considered calling out for Jimmy, but decided that anything in the closet would hear him as well, so he held off. Sam was reaching for the doorknob, when the door opened to a bright light and a man spilled out, landing on one knee in front of them. Behind him, the door to the closet swung shut as suddenly as it had opened.
"Which of you is John Winchester?"
Sam and Dean looked at each other.
The guy got to his feet. "Please, time is of the essence. Which of you is John Winchester?"
"Uh, neither." Sam said, his gun trained on the man."
"Jimmy!" Dean yelled out the door. Now that the guy was out… Well, Jimmy might not be Cas, but he might know what was going on.
"That's impossible." The man said. "That's absolutely…" He wiped at his nose, which appeared to be bleeding. "What did I do wrong?"
"What?" He came in the room, a little annoyed, screeching to a halt when he saw the unexpected third man in the room.
"He came out of the closet."
Jimmy gave the door a look over, then shrugged. "You've got me."
Dean turned back to the man. "Who the hell are you, mister?"
"And how did you get past the wards?" Jimmy added.
"Not now. I'm… Wait, wards?"
Dean grabbed the man, pushing him up against the wall, holding him there with an arm across his chest.
"Please. I can assure you there's no need for violence. One of you must know John Winchester."
"I'll tell you what." Sam told him. When one of us falls out of your closet, then you can ask the questions."
"Yes, my apologies." He focused on Dean. "Is it absolutely essential, sir, that you keep your hands on me?"
Dean let him go and backed off a couple of steps, but he kept his gun out.
"Thank you." The man straightened up his clothes and tie. "Gentlemen, in the absence of any and all other explanations, I'm afraid this has been a marvellous, tragic misunderstanding. I'll be on my way."
"That won't be possible." Jimmy told him, beating Sam to the punch. "The house's wards will not recognize you. If you try to leave without our permission, they'll treat you as a potential threat and act… accordingly."
"So," Sam said, his gaze hard. "Why don't you start with your name, and why you're looking for our father?"
The guy took in a startled breath. "John Winchester is your father?"
"Yeah." Dean said, giving his brother an annoyed glance, not knowing that in another timeline, he'd be the one to let that spill. "So, your name, now."
The man took in another deep breath. "Winchester. I'm your grandfather, Henry Winchester."
They didn't let it go at that of course. The usual tests came next. Dean dealt with the silver knife and holy water while Sam looked over Henry's wallet.
"You're from 1958? "
Henry shifted the annoyed look he was giving Dean as he wiped the Holy water he'd been doused with off his face with a hand.
"Time travellers in closets." Dean said, looking up in the air. "What's next, police boxes?"
Sam gave Dean a look. "You've watched Doctor Who? How come you always act like you don't know what I'm talking about?"
"Shut up. And I have no idea what you're talking about."
Henry looked over at Jimmy. "I take it you're not related."
"Hey!" Both brothers said at the same time.
Jimmy just shook his head.
Then the closet door started to shake again.
Henry looked at it, frowning.
"What…" Then his eyes widened. "Oh my God, run."
The closet door crashed open and with a flash of bright light, a woman in a 1950s style evening dress stepped out.
"Henry." She said with a light laugh as she walked towards him. "Silly man, you forgot to lock the door. But then spells never were your best subject, were they? Why don't you be a doll and give me what I want? And I promise to kill you and your friends here quickly."
Dean didn't wait for Henry to answer her, coming up behind her and planting the demon-killing knife into her back as she finished the sentence. He pulled the knife out as she fell to her knees. Her body lit up gold and for a moment, and it appeared it would be business as usual.
Then it just stopped and she looked up at them, an evil smile on her face.
"Well, that is no way to treat a lady."
Jimmy slapped a hand against one of the walls and a pattern, hidden in the wallpaper lit up with a flash that threw the woman against a wall.
This time they all paid attention, and did as told.
Pelting out the front door, Jimmy waited until they were all out before slamming the door shut and slapping his hand against it. For a moment, his eyes flared a white blue and he said a short sentence in something that everyone there recognized as Enochian. Then the light in his eyes went out and he staggered.
Dean caught him, holding him upright.
Jimmy gave his head a shake. "Cas managed to power the security system, but it's not at full strength."
They all heard a scream and the house shook.
"It's not going to hold her for long."
"Got it.' Dean hauled Jimmy to the car. Sam got their grandfather in the backseat as well. Both brothers got in the front and they peeled out, spewing gravel as they speed down the dirt road, going away from the old farmhouse.
Two miles later, Dean pulled over so Henry could bolt out of the car and throw up in a ditch. It all just... caught up to him. The last straw was thinking of Josie, his friend and fellow initiate, taken by that thing. He knew, given the damage to her body, that there was no chance of her living through an exorcism. He could only hope she hadn't survived the possession. That her soul was free of that horror. That she didn't know... His mind replayed the blood drenched memory of the deaths she caused back in '58 and his narrow escape.
When it came down to it, he thought throwing up was a fairly mild reaction, even if it was embarrassing.
"You okay?" Sam asked as the rest of them got out of the car.
Henry nodded, then proved otherwise by throwing up again. When it was over he paused a moment, waiting to see if it would happen once more. When it didn't, he wiped his mouth with a handkerchief.
"Sorry. It's just all the adventures I enjoy are usually of the literary nature."
Dean shook his head. "Yeah, well, now that you're done blowing chunks, you want to tell us who Betty Crocker was?"
"Abaddon. She's a demon." And that, as far as he was concerned, was all she was now.
"She's more than that." Jimmy said. "She's a Knight of Hell."
"I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what exactly does that mean?" Dean said.
"Knights of Hell are hand-picked by Lucifer himself." Henry told him. "They are of the first-fallen, first-born demons."
"Most of them are dead." Jimmy shrugged at the brother's expressions. "Stuff seeps through, even when I'm asleep. Besides, Cas slipped me the Cliff Notes on her when he powered up the safe house's security system." He decided against mentioning the fact that Cas was also freaking out, because he didn't remember anything like this happening.
"What exactly are you?" Henry asked, trepidation in his eyes.
"He's… He's complicated." Sam said.
Dean laughed. "Very." He looked around them. "And the middle of a road isn't the place to explain it."
"I'll call Bobby, tell him he's about to have guests."
Bobby turned off the TV when the phone rang, glad for the distraction. He must have demons on the mind too much, as he thought he'd just seen Crowley in an episode of Chuck.
"Hey Sam, whatcha got?"
Sam explained the bare bones to the other hunter. He ended the call, nodded an okay to his brother, and then looked back at Jimmy and Henry. "So, anything special about a Knight of Hell, other than the title?"
Jimmy frowned. "They're strong, very strong. It's why your knife didn't work on it."
Henry laughed. "Of course normal, run-of-the-mill cutlery won't work. At the very least, you'd need an ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds."
"That's the knife I'm talking about."
"Got it from a demon." Dean gave his grandfather a quick backwards glance. "Let's just say we've been around that block a few times."
Henry shook his head. "Legend has it that the Archangels had killed all of the Knights."
"All but one." Jimmy said, frowning because Cas' knowledge wasn't much better than hearsay. "Abbadon was apparently flung into the deepest depths of Hell. She hadn't been seen since."
"But if Lilith could get out, so could she." Sam said.
"Lilith is out?" Henry asked, shocked.
"Guys." Dean said, already feeling a headache coming on. "Let's wait till we get to Bobby's, okay?"
Everyone maintained a grumpy silence for most of the drive. The only high, or odd note coming when Dean went through a late night fast food drive-thru and Henry watched in a state of horror as Jimmy ate his way through four different kinds of burgers, two orders of fries and a yogurt parfait.
Back at the safe house, the walls and the ground around it shook. The small animals, insects and birds that normally made their homes near it had started running, scuttling or flying away from the place some time ago. If the grass could have pulled itself up by the roots to crawl to safety, it would have.
There was a scream, the sound twisting to a depth impossible coming from a young woman's throat. The house shook one more time, then the front door blew off its hinges to land in the middle of the dirt driveway.
"Arrrr…gggg." Abaddon looked around and snarled. Her prey was long gone. With nothing for it, she stomped out of the house, skirts swaying, and started walking.
Henry was dozing and missed when they turned into Singer Salvage a little after 3am. When they woke him, he wasn't able to see his surroundings, though the outside view of the ramshackle house gave him some pause. The insides wouldn't have been much better, if it hadn't been for the books. Anyone who collected that much knowledge couldn't be all bad.
"What have you idjits gotten yourselves into now?"
Then again. Maybe they could be.
Dean did the introductions. "Henry Winchester, Bobby Singer, Bobby Singer, our grandfather, Henry Winchester. Oh, and that's still Jimmy Novak." He pointed at what to Bobby was usually Castiel. The boys had warned him previously that Cas was 'sleeping' off an injury. He knew Jimmy was supposed to be hiding out at one of Cas' safe houses, but apparently that plan had gone tits up.
But to more important things.
Abaddon whistled as she drove down the road. She didn't know where Henry was, but she'd figure it out eventually. For now, she had money, a kick ass truck and a full tank of gas. The nice young man who stopped to help her had gladly offered her his wallet and keys right after she mind raped him and just before she broke his neck.
Singer offered Holy water all around and once they'd given him the low down on Abaddon, he sorted them out some space to sleep and sent them off to bed, saying they'd be useless without a few hours rest. Henry surprised himself by conking out almost immediately. Five hours later, he woke to a peaceful house and quietly made his way out of the room he was in and down the stairs.
He opened the front door and stepped out on the porch, surprised by the view of wrecked cars as far as his eye could see.
"Ah, I love the smell of rusting metal in the morning."
Henry started and turned to find a smirking young man with sandy blond hair standing beside him.
"So, who might you b…" The man stared at him intensely, his eyes widening as he did.
Henry heard a clang of noise inside from what he thought was the kitchen.
"Hold your damn horses."
The older man stomped out onto the porch. "What?"
The recent arrival pointed at Henry. "There can not be another Winchester. Three are more that enough."
"Three." Henry looked at him with some hope. "Does that mean you know my son, John?"
"Your…?" Gabriel looked at Henry, confused. "What?" He noticed a look of horror coming over Bobby's face.
"Damn, stupid idjits." He poked his head back into the house, yelling. "Sam, Dean, get your asses down here this minute." He looked back at Henry and shook his head. No way was he going to be the one to deal with this.
Henry had a very bad feeling as Bobby sat him down at the kitchen table and sat his grandsons down with him.
"I need to speak with John. I need to know where he is."
The two brothers looked at each other, their expressions a mix of horror, and head thumping stupid. Henry's bad feeling tripled in strength.
"You can't talk with him." Sam told him. "He's dead."
They left him at the table so they could talk quietly. Henry wasn't really noticing them anyway. He was busy staring at the picture of John he'd pulled from his wallet.
Bobby joined them, obviously annoyed with the both of them. "You couldn't have told him that yesterday?" He asked, voice a pissed off whisper.
He noticed Dean's back go up, but Sam had enough honesty to look sheepish about it. "With the time travel and the demon, it just kind of slipped our minds."
"I'll second that." Gabriel said, stepping into their circle. He glanced over at Henry. "I can send him back, if you want. Though I'm not sure it's a good idea."
Sam grimaced. "Dad always hated his father."
Dean nodded. "The man left him high and dry."
"But," Sam interjected. "Maybe it wasn't intentional. Maybe he time travelled here and got stuck?"
Dean gave Henry a sour look.
Gabriel smacked him upside the head.
"Oww. What the hell?"
"This is no time to go all hate on your grandfather for messing up his son so he could grow up to mess up the two of you."
"Hey, Dad had his issues, but he was always there for us."
Gabriel gave him a snort. "Except when he wasn't." He held up a hand before Dean could start on him. "Absent fathers, we've all had them. However, John's may not have been by choice. So at least give the mook a chance." He sighed. "Besides, with Heaven and Hell trying to mould your family for the apocalypse, if the time travel didn't happen, they might have made him disappear. One of the reasons I'm not too comfortable sending him back." Well, that and another change to the time line would probably be too much for this reality to handle.
Dean grumbled and walked away, Sam following behind. Bobby stayed, giving the Archangel a raised eyebrow of a look.
"It's disturbing when you actually make sense."
Gabriel shrugged. "Gotta happen sometimes."