A/N: Welcome back for your next installment, the sequel to "Preparing the Way." I hope you enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or NCIS, and I have nothing clever to say about it.
What you missed on last week's episode...
Dean glanced over at the doorway, just able to make out his brother's overly tall silhouette against the doorframe. "Yeah," he responded gruffly, draining the last of his beer. "Bobby find anything?"
"Sort of," Sam answered, stepping back to let Dean pass.
"What does 'sort of' mean?" he scoffed, plopping down in his customary seat near Bobby's desk.
"Means I got a phone call a few minutes ago," Bobby stated, "from a contact in D.C."
"Fed country?" the older brother retorted bitterly. "No thanks."
"May not be an option to say no."
~"Once I rose above the noise and confusion..."~
"Who is bein' sacrificed?" Dean dared, sitting forward.
"From what I can tell...the sacrifices are limited to warriors."
"Warriors." The older Winchester sat forward. "Like..."
"Military," Sam finished quietly.
~"Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion..."~
"There is...a team, a very capable team, that will assist you. They will be waiting for you in Washington."
"A team of what?" Dean demanded. "Hunters?"
"Naval Criminal Investigators."
~"I was soaring ever higher..."~
Gibbs paused, looking down at McGee, who seemed to be staring at nothing. "McGee?" he asked.
"He's been kinda out of it, boss."
Gibbs grunted, receiving no reply from the young agent. "McGee!" he repeated a bit louder, kneeling beside him. He pressed his fingertips to McGee's neck, feeling the feeble pulse. "Hey, DiNozzo, help me get him up and movin'."
~"But I flew too high..."~
"Special Agent Timothy McGee."
Shock propelled him upward as he heard the deep, unfamiliar voice echo throughout his room. Instinctively, he reached to his side for his weapon, finding only a handful of hospital gown to greet him. Confused, he looked around, his eyes coming to rest on a dark-haired man standing by the window. The man appeared to be wearing a suit and trench coat, another agent, he guessed, maybe posted by his boss to keep watch.
"Did Gibbs send you?" he asked, a slight wheeze behind his words. "Who are you?"
"My name is Castiel, and I am an angel of the Lord."
McGee swallowed awkwardly. "An...an angel? Am I dying?"
"Yes," he answered simply.
"You have cancer," came the emotionless response, "leukemia. The bruising you have been ignoring, the fatigue, the weakness...The cancer is far progressed. I am sorry."
"Your job, however, is not finished here, Timothy. Heaven has need of you and your team. I need you to deliver a message to your boss, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs."
"What...what message?" he managed, trying to still his racing heart.
"Two men will be arriving here tomorrow," the angel stated carefully, "they are called hunters. Your team is to provide them shelter and protect them at all cost. When they have arrived, I will return. You will learn then what is to be done."
~"Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man..."~
Exchanging a heavy look with his younger brother, he jerked his head toward the door, and they fell in step together, moving up the small walkway. It was Sam, however, who raised his hand to knock, leaving them waiting for what seemed like an eternity until an older man pulled the door open, greeting them with a calculating stare.
"Uh, I'm Sam, and this is Dean," Sam greeted, coughing to clear his throat. "I...believe you're expecting us."
It took a moment for the graying man to step aside, letting them into the house. They drew up short as they found another man and woman standing just inside, each with a gun trained on them. The man who'd let them in easily found Dean's gun, taking and unloading it before sitting it aside.
"Well, this is just peachy," Dean mumbled under his breath. "So much for Cas 'preparing the way.'"
~"Though my mind could think I still was a mad man..."~
"Do all angels wear trench coats?" DiNozzo quipped, his lopsided grin easily visible behind the gun he had leveled at Castiel's head.
"He doesn't quite grasp the concept of 'humor,'" Sam spoke up before Castiel could respond.
~"I hear the voices when I'm dreaming..."~
"Okay, so we're definitely on the right track with the shelter. It's at least where the sacrifices are being performed. With the amount of blood pooling at the door, it's a pretty safe bet there was at least one body hidden there." Dean brought his father's journal closer to him, staring absently down at the pages as his mind continued to work. "What we need is a way to get inside."
"With the locked gates and those butch looking women walkin' around outside, that's gonna be a trick," DiNozzo added, crossing his arms and kicking back in his chair.
"It will not be that hard," Ziva retorted. "We are government agents, are we not? I am a woman, yes? I will go in undercover."
"Whoa," Sam stated firmly, sitting forward. He shook his head. "Ziva, this isn't something the agency is aware you all are doing. There's no insurance if something goes wrong."
"People are dying, and this is the way to put an end to it. Dean and Tony were fortunate enough to get inside and return one time with no fight. Would it not be easier if it were a helpless woman seeking shelter, as the shelter is intended for? It would not raise as much suspicion."
"She's right, Sammy."
~"I can hear them say..."~
"Please tell me that the angels have nothing to do with this cancer thing," Dean said quietly, studying Castiel's face. "I thought we'd got past all that 'special influence' crap."
The angel sighed, looking away briefly toward the house. "It was not...given to him by us, Dean, but we are using it."
"Using it?" he repeated dangerously, taking a step closer to the angel.
"McGee is a vessel. A particularly powerful vessel. Much like you were with Michael."
Dean put up a hand to stop him, the look on his face particularly volatile. "Wait a second." He paused, his eyes narrowed. "One of your angel buddies is just gonna...swoop down and take a body off the death bed? You know who does that, Cas? Huh? Dicks!"
~"Carry on my wayward son..."~
"Something's wrong out there, Abby." McGee sighed in frustration, placing a slightly shaking hand over hers. "I need to be with the team. What's going on?"
"They've got everything under control, Timmy." She adjusted her hold on him, nuzzling against his neck. "You just need to focus on getting better."
"I can't!" He frowned. "Damn it, I can't sit in here knowing that the team is working without me."
"I've seen that before," McGee mumbled, more to himself, as he studied the image of the pendant they all seemed so interested in.
"What?" Sam asked, looking over at him.
"In a dream, a few weeks ago." He narrowed his eyes, looking at it closer. "I was taking a break from working on the Deep Six books...had a dream about a woman wearing a necklace exactly like this." He gestured toward Sam's computer, pulling up a fresh browser and typing as he spoke. "Gave me an idea for a new book, so I did some research..." He gave the computer back to the younger brother, settling back in his chair as he tried to find a more comfortable position.
"Valkyrie?" Sam breathed.
~"There'll be peace when you are done..."~
"Odin cannot be allowed to rise. At any cost, the ritual must be halted." Cas stared at the wooden boards thoughtfully. "Once the ritual is halted, we must ensure that they cannot try again."
"How do we do that?" Sam asked quietly.
Castiel met Sam's eyes, his gaze fixed and intense. "We must destroy Valhalla."
~"Lay your weary head to rest..."~
Leslie jerked her head around, hearing the voice sound to her right. Her eyes widened as she found herself face to face with Zerachiel. Ziva brought an elbow hard against her captor's midsection, loosening her grip enough to slip away, retrieving her gun and backing a few steps away, Leslie in her cross hairs.
"You don't want to do this." She brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear, only casting a brief glance at Ziva, almost in dismissal.
"Oh, yes, we do," Castiel sounded, suddenly behind her. "It's over."
"It's only just beginning." She smiled again, a sinister smile that darkened her eyes, her muscles tensing as she prepared for the impending fight. "There are more of us than there are of you."
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs' belllow echoed loudly and he pushed at the mass crushing in on them, fighting to get to his senior field agent. A strength that he'd never felt before flared to life in him as he saw Tony barely deflect another attack, knowing that the man had signed his death warrant. "No!"
Despite being hidden among her sisters, Dean's aim was true, and the bullet struck Leslie between the eyes, dropping her instantly.
"Shield your eyes!" Castiel cried out, Zerachiel mirroring his movements as he stretched his arms wide, holy light bursting forth from his body to engulf the room.
He scrambled out of the car as the Impala slowed, swerved, and buried itself into the bushes, the momentum thankfully slow enough to stop them. Ducky sprang from the truck, ordering Abby to get help as he ran to the car, pulling the door open, reaching across an unconscious Sam to put the car in park and cut the engine as he checked for a pulse.
Gibbs' limp form in the backseat caught his eye, a pale blue tinting his lips. He had started pulling his old friend from the car to begin CPR when the orderlies came rushing out with gurneys, followed closely by nurses. Abby was close behind them, stopping short as she saw Ducky hovering over a very-still Gibbs.
"Stand aside, sir," one of the nurses ordered, pulling at Ducky.
At a loss, the doctor stumbled back, watching numbly as the bodies were removed from the vehicles and loaded onto beds, nurses straddling Tony and Gibbs, beginning chest compressions as the orderlies rushed the gurneys inside, toward the Emergency Room. He jumped, startled, as he felt Abby's hand close over his, shocking him back to the present.
"Ducky," she whispered hoarsely, her burning question evident without having to speak it. Was Gibbs alive?
He met her eyes, his own filling with tears. "I certainly hope so, Abigail." He pulled her close and there, at the entrance of the hospital, they cried, clinging to one another as if their lives depended on it.
"Yes." Castiel's voice held no levity and no reassurance. He faced Zerachiel with cold, calculating eyes, his fist closing around the horn. "It's all about the souls."
~"Don't you cry no more."~
Lyrics - "Carry on my Wayward Son" ~Kansas