Title: Midsummer Grace
Characters and/or Pairing: Gabriel/Dean
Spoilers: vague mid-S6 (none for finale)
Warnings: cursing, graphic sexual content (slash)
Word Count: ~ 14 000
Disclaimer: All names and characters in this story belong to CW/WB and Kripke. I'm making no profit. It's just for fun! Don't sue me! =D
Summary: Dean is really fed up with being abducted, especially for some freaky ritual.
AN: Unbetaed. This fanfiction is dedicated to one of my readers, who's daughter wanted to give her a special Birthday gift. So here it is.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DÉSIREE!
Dean was truly and utterly fed up with being knocked out and abducted. He hated the way he woke up and his head throbbed and as ropes or handcuffs bit into his skin, he hated not knowing how much time passed and how he was going to free himself. He hated feeling like a rookie if someone managed to drop the dime on him. He had his fair share of unpleasant awakenings. He woke up many times tied to a chair, gagged and tied up, hell he even woke up once in an apocalyptic future and was chased by a horde of demonic zombies. But nothing was more unpleasant than waking up tied up completely with rope with nothing but his boxers on – at least he was not completely naked – lying in a very suspicious looking clearing with bonfires all around him, strange people walking up and down while the sound of drums were ringing in the air.
He was somehow sure, for some reason, that he was the not so virgin sacrifice. He still had no idea how they could catch him so easily but he was also a bit hazy on the details, which meant that he got hit on the head pretty bad. Normally he would've suspected demons to be behind this sort of crap, but all the fire and the drums and the strange smell of sweet smoke in the air told him otherwise. And oh yeah it was summer solstice. Now with pagan rituals he knew that he either was going to be killed (bled out and/or taken apart), or if he was lucky it was some freaky fertility ritual and some god or goddess, priest or priestess will want to have his or her way with him. Not that thinking about that filled him with too much reassurance, it would've been bad, really bad, but better than death. The fact that he was not tied to some sort of sacrificial altar did give him some hope.
He turned his head when a shadow fell over him and he was for a moment struck dumb at the sight. Not someone he expected to see.
The goddess stood above him in a red gown – or maybe a cloak – her dark hair falling down in waves and her face just as stern and cold as it was the last time Dean saw her almost two years ago. The goddess didn't answer him and the next second he was hauled up by his elbows, his wrist tied together tightly behind his back and he was repositioned on something hard. Ok, so much for not being on a sacrificial altar.
'Well it just figures that not killing you comes back to bite me in the ass' Kali just glanced at him dispassionately as a guy handed her a bowl and a paintbrush. She twirled the brush around in the bowl before she stepped closer and started painting on Dean's skin. 'I hope that's chocolate syrup, that I could get behind' Dean remarked as he was held down in place so that he couldn't wiggle away from the brush, she sighed in an almost exasperated manner but still didn't talk. Whatever the thick goo was it didn't smell bad at least as it left dark green marks on his skin, symbols he couldn't recognize. Then two other chicks got into his line of vision from both sides, either of them holding smaller bowls in their hands and Dean already had enough of the arts and crafts they had going on with him. The women used their hands, but they were not drawing symbols but started to cover every inch of skin Kali didn't paint on with some powder. It stuck to his skin completely painting him gold, maybe it really was gold, it certainly looked like it even if the scent of flower pollen reached Dean's nose.
'Seriously?' Dean asked as he tried to catch the goddess' eyes. 'You're going to use me as some sacrificial lamb, the guy who helped you out when the devil was all over our asses?' he was definitely not counting on reasoning with her, but he couldn't just lie back and do nothing. He hoped that Sam noticed that he was gone by now.
Kali just leveled him with a look before she continued to paint symbols now on his legs.
When they were done there was almost no place on him that was not covered in the strange green paint or gold powder that made him look like a living, breathing gold statue. It was itching his skin to no end.
'What is all this? Kali!' she knew him, this couldn't be random. 'Answer me!' he was ignored. Naturally. And of course these were not some amateur demons or teenage witches, all of Kali's helpers knew what they were doing, which meant that he was tied up very efficiently. 'Bitch' he spat out. It got a reaction out finally.
'You're lucky you're not expandable right now' she told him. Her eyes were dark and angry and Dean was absolutely sure that she would tear his throat out if she could, but there was more than that. Like she hated being here to begin with, which was strange. She looked at someone who was somewhere around Dean's left shoulder and the next second Dean found himself gagged with a piece of cloth that they tied on his head.
She turned his back on him again and walked somewhere behind Dean where he couldn't see her. The light got brighter all around and Dean felt the heat of the bonfires on his skin as the flames grew tall in the sunset. The sound of drums never stopped for a second and a low rumble of chants joined in.
Dean tried to struggle free again, but he couldn't and the first traces of panic really started to set in. He was in deep, deep shit. Kali's voice rang in the air as she spoke in a language Dean didn't know, but it made his skin prickle. The powder was itching him, every inch of his skin and the air felt much hotter than before and Dean realized suddenly that it was magic. Whatever it was that Kali and her merry band of cultists were doing it started and it was linked to him.
The symbols were hotter on his skin now and he really started to struggle more, the rope was biting into his skin but it was not loosening up. Then he was pulled off the stone and was dragged across the grass by two couple of hands. Kali was in his line of vision again, but she had her eyes closed as she uttered the words and payed him no attention.
Cold water hit his skin suddenly and he shouted... the gag muffling his voice. He was dragged into some sort of spring where the water was clear and cold and gathered in a small pond. The water was scattered with yellow flowers, almost covering the entire surface. And after the first shock the cold water it just made the symbols burn hotter on his skin instead of cooling him down.
Kali burst into flames as the bonfires climbed higher to the sky and the hands holding him pushed him under the water. He struggled against the hold as he sank down until his back hit the pebbles on the bottom of the spring. The sound of drums was now quieter and the chanting was barely heard underwater, even Kali's voice was gone, but he saw nothing but the burning fire all around and the yellow flowers swimming on the surface and the petals swirling all around him.
He was running out of air and it just figured that he gets used for a ritual where they drown him instead of a lot less painful blood sacrifice. He was choking now as his lungs burned in the need of air and he tired his best not to breath in the water but he lost the fight and the cold water filled his lungs. He expected the darkness to claim him, but everything just kept burning. Bright light was the last thing he could still see and then everything slipped away.
Gabriel sat up suddenly taking in a large breath, but it caused him to cough violently. He clutched his chest where the killing blow of Lucifer landed, but he was unharmed. He cleared his throat and managed to get in a few breaths. His senses came back to him a bit slower than he was comfortable with. He was wet and he tasted gold, lavender and mugwort on his lips while the smell of thyme and vervain was heavy in the air along with the scent of calendula, which explained all the yellow petals sticking to his hands and arms.
He looked up and his eyes landed on Kali. He was confused, he was ready to admit that. He wanted to speak but he had to clear his throat again, a quick check and yeah his lungs and windpipe were damaged, too much water. A thought and his vessel was okay again.
'What happened?' he asked. His throat was still sore somehow, his voice came out in a deeper rumble than he was used to.
'I hate being in dept' Kali said simply. 'You helped me, I helped you. Now we're even.'
'Helped me?' he paused. 'I was dead' yes, he was rather sure of that. Lucifer actually killed him. Okay his voice still felt too strange.
'Yes, be glad that it was not an obstacle. I had your blood, you grace was tied to me I could summon you back with some help.'
Gabriel looked around and among Kali's followers he recognized some old faces, so it was not just Kali but several gods. He stood up finally to get out of the water and froze as he looked down at Kali. He was taller than he was used to, he looked down at his hands again. This was not his vessel.
'Kali, who did you...' oh he knew that voice. This was not good, not good at all. He stepped past the goddess and picked up one of the golden bowls from the altar and looked at the reflection he could see in it.
Well, fuck. He took a few breaths before he turned back towards his ex-lover.
'Dean Winchester, you summoned me into Dean Winchester's body?' he knew that he sounded furious and he didn't want to restrain it. This was wrong on so many levels, he couldn't ask for consent, Dean couldn't give consent. He stretched his grace inside and breathed out in relief when he felt Dean's soul burning inside the body, just as brightly and strongly as it was supposed to. He had to check for any other damage later.
'It's not like there are that many humans capable of housing an archangel' Kali said matter of factly. 'Besides, his blood I already had, why go search for someone else?'
'Why Dean?' Gabriel asked.
'The other one's tainted, not the type of presence that would do any good in such a complex ritual.'
'He didn't give his permission for this' Gabriel said, because he was pretty sure that the older Winchester brother would not consent to something like this not even to bring Gabriel back.
'You're welcome' Kali said instead. 'And we're even and done.'
'Yeah trust me I'm not feelin' it anymore either' Gabriel replied as he looked her up and down then shifted space to get out of the presence of the gods.
He snapped some clothes onto his body, not his usual garments but something he saw Dean wearing before. He was back, but he was shaky. His grace was trembling just from the flight he made to get away from Kali. He was rather sure that he couldn't harm Dean – Michael's vessel – with his presence, but he had yet to make sure. The world was still there and not as a horrible wasteland as he saw it in one of his glimpses to the future, but this was still a mess and it would be a bitch to clean it all up, plus he would have to deal with one and even more likely two very pissed off Winchesters soon.
Dean opened his eyes slowly. Heat was warming his skin, like the sun in the driest, hottest summer day. It took a while for his eyes to adjust to the bright light as he sat up and looked around. He frowned and rubbed his eyes, but even at second blink he saw nothing but an endless green field with the horizon in the distance on all sides with the bright blue sky above.
He tried to get his mind to work, to remember how he got here. He remembered sweet scent and burning fire, the sound of drums and yellow flowers. He was underwater, fighting for his breath... did he get out of there? He dreaded that the answer was no.
'Hey Dean' the hunter turned around quickly at the voice, but he still didn't stand up. Gabriel looked almost exactly like he did at the night he died. He was just somehow... brighter. His hair was almost gold and so were his eyes, but maybe it was just the light from the burning sun, if it was the sun at all.
'I thought that I was dead, but then I would be eating my Mom's apple pie' Dean said. 'And I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to see dead archangels up in Heaven either.'
'You are right about that' Gabriel said as he too sat down to the grass in a comfortable distance.
'Where am I if not there?' he asked.
'Still on Earth' the angel told him. Dean thought about the too sharp light and the endless nothing around them.
'Am I dreaming?' he asked then.
'Well we are in your head, so close enough' Dean frowned deeper and wanted to tell the angel to cut the cryptic bullcrap when he remembered the goddess towering above him.
'Your bitch ex-girlfriend fucking tried to kill me' he said angrily.
'Technically... she didn't just try. You were dead for a minute or so.' Dean narrowed his eyes.
'So I'm alive?'
'Yes, alive and unharmed' Gabriel said, his tone told Dean that he tried to sound reassuring.
'Ok, so if we're in my head, what are you doing here? Fuck, are you even real or am I just making this up?'
'Oh, I am very real Dean-o, and I am very much inside here with you.'
'So what do you want? And why am I not awake?' Dean asked. He was running out of patience and he needed answers right away. Gabriel tilted his head back and looked up at the sky while he took a deep breath. And that gesture just didn't promise anything good. 'Gabriel?' he asked again. 'What's going on?'
'Kali felt like she had to pay back her dept to me' the archangel started. 'She gathered some gods, called in some favours and dragged my ass back to this plain of existence by that thread of grace she had with my blood.'
'That's... good. You're alive then' Dean concluded and he let himself think about it for a moment. Gabriel died to help them and now he was back, they were not close by any sense of the word, but it was still a relief, maybe he was even glad. 'Wouldn't have imagined her lifting a finger' Dean admitted, he didn't expect anyone lifting a finger to be honest. When Cas died God brought him back almost immediately, so he figured that Gabriel being gone for so long meant that the big guy was not making an exception for him. Which was a very shitty thing so Dean avoided thinking about it as much as he could, but sometimes it still invaded his mind. It was unfair, plain and simple. He couldn't wrap his mind around why God would bring one back and not the other when both died for the same reasons. There was no answer of course so Dean just avoided thinking about it altogether while it strengthened his conviction that yes, God was indeed a dick.
Gabriel chuckled, Dean looked back at him.
'I didn't expect any of the gods to move a finger, but a lot of them gathered so... here I am.'
'That freaky ritual or something, that was it? That was how they brought you back?' Dean asked and the angel nodded. 'What the hell had I have to do with it?'
'I've been gone for almost two years' Gabriel said. 'Good job with the cage, by the way... so two years... my dead vessel was of course eventually found be the police, labeled as a John Doe and was cremated and buried in a unmarked grave... Kali's magic is rather corporeal and she had to pull me back into something... somebody' he finished while he locked his amber eyes on Dean, his tone meaningful.
Dean stood up as he held up a hand to silence the angel and to his surprise Gabriel indeed stayed silent. He absorbed the words along with everything the archangel said up until this point and came to a conclusion. No way.
'Are you telling me... that you're using me as your fucking vessel?' and God, he wished the answer to be no more than anything at this moment.
'I didn't want this, Dean' Gabriel said.
'What the hell happened to giving consent?' Dean snapped angrily. 'Because I sure as hell didn't agree for you to jump my bones.'
'Look Dean, this was completely beyond my control. Kali had to have a suitable vessel for the ritual and she already had your blood so it made you her primary choice.'
'So that's it? I'm done and just being dragged around as your meatsuit? I'm not even your vessel! Am I gonna rot or become some brain dead drooling mess because of this?'
'The fact that I am talking with you proves that you're going to be completely fine after I get out of here and you're Michael's vessel, I don't burn as brightly as him, so you can certainly handle me.'
Dean stopped and looked back at the archangel who was still sitting in the grass.
'After you get out?' he asked. Gabriel wanted to roll his eyes, Dean saw that he barely resisted the urge to do so.
'Yes, after I get out of here. I don't intend to use you as my vessel.'
'Awesome, what the hell are you still doing here then?' Dean asked, his voice was still low, almost like a growl.
'Well, the thing is...'
'Oh yeah sure, of course there's a catch' Dean grumbled.
'Shut up and listen' Gabriel cut in. 'My vessel's gone, I can rebuild it but it will take some time.'
'Last time I checked resurrection for you guys was nothing but a blink' Dean answered.
'Sure, if I wanted to drag the soul of my vessel back from Heaven it would be. Now after he spent the last centuries upstairs it would be sorta a dick move to get him back into the joyride.'
'And since when are you not a dick?' Dean asked. Gabriel looked up at him and smiled unpleasantly, not like it made the hunter back off, he just kept scowling at the angel.
'So like I said. I can rebuild the body, or more like make a copy as there is nothing left from the original just a pile of ash, but it will take some time' Gabriel paused, he looked physically uncomfortable for having to speak further. 'So I am asking you to agree that I stay here until I'm done.'
Dean snorted. 'Asking, right... it's not like I can kick you out once you're here.'
'Exactly. I don't have to ask, but I'm asking you anyway' Gabriel answered. Dean looked at him for a long moment then after a pause he took the gesture for what it was.
'Few weeks tops'
'Damn it, you really can't go anywhere else?' Dean asked, not like he actually hoped to get an answer he would like. Gabriel most definitely wouldn't have asked him if he could've solved this without having to do so. The whole thing made him feel unpleasant to say the least. This was exactly what he tried to avoid for so long, to lose control this completely. Gabriel was marginally better than Michael, but it didn't make it any less of shitty situation.
'I could use a temporary vessel, someone from my old vessel's bloodline maybe... but I'm sure you remember how weaker vessels end up even after a shorter time.'
The memory of face of Lucifer's vessel was a clear one in Dean's mind and while he hated this with passion there was no way he wanted some poor schmuck to spontaneously combust for housing an archangel while he would get out of this scot-free, if Gabriel was telling the truth. He especially didn't want Gabriel to take some husband or father away from his family like Cas did.
'I'm not trying to trick you' Gabriel said.
'A: that's pretty ironic coming from you, and B: don't fucking read my mind.'
'We are inside your mind Dean-o, it would be pretty hard not to read it' the angel told him, Dean just scowled at him some more. That seemed to amuse Gabriel at this point.
'Damn, I hate this' Dean said, but okay. Gabriel came through in the end got his ass handed to him for helping them.
'It's true' Dean said, not even asking which of his thoughts caused the exclamation, and ok the angel really didn't have to ask for Dean's permission whatsoever, but he did. He growled in frustration because he knew already that he was going to say yes. 'Ok, fine. Stay until you fix your vessel.'
'Thank you' Gabriel spoke and it was genuine, Dean could tell, he didn't know why he was sure, but he was.
'Man, Sam will freak out.'
'He doesn't have to know' Gabriel offered.
'Dude, I can't vanish for weeks, you gotta tell him what's going on. He's already looking for me probably.'
'What?' frowned the hunter.
'Two days passed since the solstice and-'
'You have to get to him and tell him what's going on' Dean said sternly.
'And I already went back to your brother' Gabriel continued while looking at Dean meaningfully. The massage to shut his mouth was loud and clear. 'He just doesn't seem to notice the difference.'
'What?' Dean asked. Even more incredulously, because there was just no way.
'Hey, just updating you, bucko' Gabriel shrugged. 'I searched him out and was ready to tell him what went down with Kali, but he thought I was you, it was amusing, I didn't correct him.'
'Dude, not cool' Gabriel chuckled at that.
'I simply didn't use my powers in front of him. I swear I didn't even try to pretend I was you. Seems like we're just like two peas in a pod, big boy' he grinned widely at that, obviously amused and not even trying to hide it. Dean wanted to argue, but hell he himself admitted something like this the last time they talked sitting in the Impala in front of the Elysian Fields motel.
'Why did you wait this long to talk with me?' he asked instead.
'I tried before, but you were "asleep", so to speak. Took this long to get your brain out of the slumber it fell into during the ritual.'
'Ok, then just make your vessel or whatever, be fast. And tell Sam you're not me!'
'Oh, c'mon he will be all pissy at me and I can really do without the constant bitching, he's a lot less annoying this way.' Dean crossed his arms and frowned down at the archangel, Gabriel rolled his eyes. 'Fine, I tell little Sammy that big bro is not sitting at the wheels, at least I know he won't try to burn or stab me.'
Dean bit back a chuckle at the archangel's tone. 'Hey so... am I gonna notice time passing or something?' he asked. 'Or I will black out the whole thing?'
Gabriel seemed to think about it for a while before he answered.
'Not sure. Maybe you will wake up from time to time and see glimpses of what's happening, but I hope you stay down, lot more pleasant, believe me.'
'Yeah, chained to a comet or what?'
'With normal angels, yes... but with me, you are chained to a sun' Dean kept looking at the angel, they way he was almost glowing in the bright and hot sunlight, and for the first time he wondered if the heat he felt was Gabriel's grace and not just something his subconscious came up with.
'Well, make this fast then' he asked.
'I will' Gabriel said. 'Thanks, Dean' he added again before everything dissolved to nothing around them.