Previously posted at LiveJournal (under another name) for the xover_exchange challenge. Story takes place sometime during the middle of season five of Supernatural.
WARNING: This is CRACK, which means that Aslan (who, as commonly known, represents Jesus) isn't really treated with the respect he deserves. I sincerely hope that no one will take offence - if you're uncertain, please turn back.
Disclaimer: Nothing's mine, unfortunately.
Nothing good ever comes of being awake at five am. If the Winchester brothers had been asleep instead of up playing Scrabble, it is possible that Castiel would have left them alone and flown off to bother someone else.
Well. Probably not. But still.
"Seriously, Cas," says Dean and puts down angels-are-stupid, which earns him no points, but a scolding look from his little brother. "It's five am. That is, five in the morning. Human beings are supposed to be asleep right now."
"You're not," Castiel says, as usual pointing out the obvious.
"That's not the point," Dean responds, annoyed. "The point is that you should stay away."
"Don't you like me anymore?"
The oldest hunter rolls his eyes, and throws an are-you-going-to-help-me-out-here? look at his little brother. Unfortunately, Sam's got all his attention directed to the little plastic letters (you have to set your priorities, after all). Dean sighs. "This has got absolutely nada to do with whether we like you or not. All I'm saying is that respectable angels spend this time of day… night… looking for God and stuff."
"But there is a mission," the angel pouts.
Dean rolls his eyes again. "I know it's a mission. That's all you've been talking about for months. 'I can't ride with you in the Impala, I'm off to find God.' 'I can't have a drink with you, I'm off to find God.' 'I can't go to Disneyland with you, I'm off to find God.'"
Cas raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow. Dean realizes what he's just said and blushes. "It was Sammy's idea," he quickly mutters. "Anyway, what I'm saying is, we know about your mission already."
"But this is another mission," Castiel upholds. "One which involves saving people. Just your kind of thing."
"Sorry, it's too early to save people. Tell them to wait a few hours, and we'll show up. Maybe."
Sam picks that exact moment to shout "Aha!" and put down cargo-aeroplane-stop-block-remover-assistant, thus earning a million billion points and winning the game.
Being the bad loser he is, and foreseeing Sam's Victory Dance #22 ("I beat my big brother at a board game," complete with hips thrusting), Dean hurries to change the subject. "You were saying? Not you," he quickly adds when his little brother opens his mouth to gloat, "I meant Cas."
"I thought you weren't interested in what I was saying?" Cas questioningly tilts his head for the four hundred and fifty-seven thousand five hundred and eighty-fourth time since they met him. (Sam is secretly keeping count by drawing a line with chalk on the Impala's back bumper every time it happens.)
"I am now. Spit it out." He crosses his arms.
Castiel frowns, but spits it out anyway. "Some children have gone missing, and there are reasons to believe that the disappearances have supernatural causes. The children may have been taken by Aslan."
"What's an aslan?" Dean has run into many kinds of strange creatures, but never an aslan.
"Not an aslan, ASLAN. There's only one."
"It sounds a little like 'vassle'," Sam provides helpfully. At his brother's questioning look, he adds; "It's the Swedish word for whey. You use it to make cheese."
"So, you're saying we're hunting a dairy monster here?" Horrible images of a big yellow lump full of holes dragging itself around vomiting brie at people cross their minds.
"While lacking previous experience of this creature, I doubt that it's got anything to with dairy products," Cas says, slowly and just a little bit insecure.
Sam frowns. "I can't lie and say that this sounds like fun, but since we're apparently not getting out of it anyway, how about some more info?"
"Ah," the angel says, seemingly getting more confident, "it's all about some British children disappearing into wardrobes while playing hide-and-seek."
"How come people haven't been looking for them in the wardrobes then?"
"They have. All that was left was a note: 'Ha ha, got your kids. You should see your faces. They'll be back in twenty or thirty years, or whenever I feel like it. Love, Aslan.'"
"Riiiiight," Dean says in his best this-is-so-fucked-up tone. He can't really come up with a more intelligent response than that. Sam decides not to answer at all.
After waiting a moment of appropriate length, Castiel opens his mouth again. "Let's hurry up, so we can get on with the plot."
"How're we getting to Britain anyway?" Dean asks, as they carry their bags out to the Impala. "'Cause I sure as hell ain't flying. Or taking the angel express, it makes me constipated." (Sam gives him a funny look.)
"I don't think we'll have to worry," says Castiel, and if he'd been anyone in the whole world except himself, this is where he would've smirked in a very annoying, self-satisfied, I-know-something-that-you-don't-know way. "We'll find a way. Literally."
Sam raises an eyebrow. "What do you mean?" he says, opening the trunk and throwing in his duffel bag.
Which promptly disappears.
After an awkward moment, Sam tentatively says: "Dean? I believe that a black hole has appeared in the trunk of your car." (From which line we can draw the conclusion that Sam isn't as intelligent as he'd like people to believe.)
His older brother doesn't answer, but settles for sending a very hostile what-the-fuck-have-you-done-to-my-car look down the trunk.
"Told you we'd find a way," Castiel says.
"You're saying that the cheese monster put a vortex in the trunk?"
"Yes. Either him or the writer of this story. And don't call him cheese monster."
"Why not?" This seems to puzzle Castiel. He tilts his head again (for the 457,585th time), but since that movement is as usual for him as bickering is for the Winchesters, no one cares to elaborate the question.
"So…" Dean reluctantly looks down the hole. "… Are we going in or what?"
"I guess," Sam says. "I've got to get my bag anyway." And with those words, he does a graceful, totally un-manly swan dive down the trunk. Dean swears quietly – Sam will never let him live it down that he didn't jump down first – and goes after him. Castiel allows himself one of the small smiles he never shows other people – he's got a reputation to uphold, after all – and congratulates himself on managing to get the Winchesters into another dimension without having a huge fight about it. Then he goes after them… and, predictably enough, lands on Dean's head.
"Ouch! What the fuck, Cas?"
"You're much heavier than you look."
"Actually, you both are," Sam groans from under his brother. "So I'd appreciate it a lot if you would get off of me."
A fourth voice interrupts them. It's female and clearly not used to being talked back to. "Hey! You there! Are you sons of Adam, by any chance?"
The surprise makes all three of them tumble down from one another and land in the snow. "What?"
"Are you sons of Adam? I've been looking for ages."
They look up to see a pretty lady in a sleigh being pulled by two sheep with pink ribbons in their tails. A dwarf with a green cap is sitting on the driver's seat.
"Actually, Adam's sons were named Cain and Abel," says Castiel, nodding to the Winchesters while brushing off some snow from his trench coat. "These two's father was named John. And my father is the Lord." He says this in a very important my-dad-can-beat-up-your-dad tone, and Dean rolls his eyes as he stands and pulls Sam up with him.
"Lord of what?" The lady frowns.
"Just… the Lord." He pauses.
The frown deepens. "Harry!" she turns to the dwarf, "what's all this about? What does the book say?"
The dwarf pulls out a book from his cap. On the cover is a lion. He flips through the pages and reads carefully. "Um, mistress, it says here that there's only supposed to be two of them. Two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve." He looks up, as if to confirm the number of strangers. "There are three sons now…" – he tilts his head – "… although that tall one looks rather feminine."
That earns a snort from Dean, and a quiet: "Told you so, Samantha."
"Listen, ma'am…" Sam is clearly trying to be the most mature brother. "… who are you anyway, and what do you want with us, and have you seen some British children playing hide-and-seek?"
For a moment, the woman just looks at him with a head-tilt that reminds them strongly of Castiel. She frowns. "Harry? Is he trying to make fun of me?"
"I don't know, mistress," the dwarf answers with a grimace. "I don't think so. Who could ever make fun of the magnificent Jadis, empress of Narnia?"
Her eyes narrow. "Are you trying to make fun of me?" Suddenly, she hauls a stick out of nowhere, and waves it around threateningly. The dwarf tenses and starts stuttering out apologies.
Dean, Sam and Castiel, who have been watching the interaction with various grades of disbelief, interest and confusion (respectively), look at each other.
Dean speaks up first. "Now what? We're just gonna stand here during their little lover's quarrel?"
"I don't believe these people will provide much information that can assist our cause," the angel answers. "We should move on."
Sam doesn't have anything to add. He's up for leaving too – mostly because the stupid midget called him a girl.
The three of them trudge off through the snow, leaving the oblivious woman and dwarf behind.
"I spy with my little eye… something that begins with an S."
"Yep. Your turn."
"I spy with my little eye… something that's white."
"Yep. Your turn."
"I spy with my little eye…"
"I fail to see the purpose of this exercise."
"There is no purpose, Cas. We're only doing it because we're bored to tears."
"I see no tears."
"Aurgh! Just shut up and keep trudging."
"I spy with my little eye… something brown and fuzzy."
In fact, there is a beaver standing only a few yards away, beckoning eagerly to them. "Hurry up, come with me! It's not safe in the open!"
Dean turns to Sam, but keeps his eyes on the beaver. "Sam? Did that beaver just speak to us?"
"I believe it did." Sam stares at the animal, which is jumping up and down impatiently.
"Oh." Dean gives this some thought and comes to the conclusion that while encountering a talking beaver may make an ordinary person scream, throw up and pass out in quick succession, it's completely normal for the Winchesters, so he shrugs off the confusion. "All right then." He would've pondered how screwed their lives are a bit more, but is somewhat interrupted when the beaver bites his leg. "OUCH! DAMMIT!" He shakes the leg violently to get rid of the rodent whose teeth are currently deeply buried in Dean's ankle.
Sam gapes at the sight of history's first flying beaver. "Dude, you just threw that beaver, like, a hundred yards."
For a moment, Dean feels proud. Then he returns to the unbelievable reality. "Hey Cas?"
"Yes, Dean?" Castiel doesn't look at him, but gazes at the distant snowdrift where the beaver landed.
"You've been around a lot. So you know a lot of stuff, right?"
"So, um… are beavers vengeful animals?"
The angel finally turns his gaze to Dean. "I can honestly inform you that I have never seen a beaver trying to get revenge for an injustice…"
"… but on the other hand, I've never seen a beaver literally getting thrown around, either, so I'm not aware of their instinctive behaviour in such a situation."
"You know, if you three weren't Adam's children, I'd so get you for that," says an offended voice from somewhere near Dean's knees. The beaver puts its front paws on its non-existient hips and glares.
Castiel opens his mouth. "As a matter of fact, none of us is an offspring of mmph-mm!" No, he hasn't suddenly been overcome by an acute need to hum. His most unintelligible last word is a result of Dean's hand pressing hard against his mouth.
"Beg your pardon?" Sam could swear that the beaver is raising an eyebrow – which is quite an accomplishment, since it has no eyebrows.
"Nothing," his older brother quickly adds. "Of course we're sons of Adam. This moron doesn't know what he's saying, he's got frostbite." He looks from the beaver's large front teeth to the hole in his jeans warily.
Sam decides to look intelligent again. "Actually, I believe it's when you get sunstroke that you start raving, not frostbite."
"Shut it, Sammy."
The beaver looks at them strangely – it has to be given some credit for managing face expressions – before it shakes its head and turns away from them. "That's where we're going." It starts making its way through the snow at a surprisingly quick pace, for being two feet "tall".
"We were supposed to go over to my house and have dinner with my wife, but since someone, not to mention any names here," it gives Dean a dark look, "decided that tossing me around would be a great idea, you can forget it." The beaver gets a triumphant glint in its eyes when Dean's stomach grumbles.
"So, where are we going anyway?" Sam asks.
"Why, to the Stone Table, of course! Rumour says Aslan's there." It frowns. "On the other hand, rumour's not always reliable. Maybe we should go to Cair Paravel immediately. I mean, if I were Aslan, I'd prefer a majestic castle to a cold and rickety old table in the middle of the forest any day." It makes a sharp left turn and its three travelling companions can do nothing but follow.
"We are going to meet Aslan?" Castiel says and would brighten up, if he was the kind of person that did that sort of thing.
"Well, that's why you're here, isn't it?"
Sam, Dean and Castiel have to agree that that is true.
In that moment, a loud "Whoops!" is heard, and something big is rolling down the hill beside them, completely squashing the beaver.
"Sorry, sorry!" A large man with a long beard, all dressed in red (the man, not the beard) gets to his feet and picks up the beaver, brushing off the snow. "Really didn't mean to land on you there, Mr Beaver."
Dean looks at Sam. "What the hell?"
Sam shakes his head. "I don't know.
"No seriously, what the hell?"
"I don't know!"
Castiel settles for tilting his head questioningly (457,586, Sam thinks).
The man puts Mr Beaver down and turns towards them with a grin. "Finally I'm here! The Witch's kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Now, I bet you're wondering who I am, eh?"
"Her former lover?" Dean mutters.
The jolly man makes a pause, just for effect. "I'm Father Christmas! And I've got gifts for all of you!"
Dean and Sam both brighten up. "Gifts?" Now we're getting somewhere!
Father Christmas – not Santa Claus, mind you, since this is originally a British story – starts pulling out gifts from a big sack which appears out of nowhere. "For Mr Beaver… a map and compass so you can find your way to the Stone Table properly. Do you know that you're on your way to Cair Paravel?"
"Huh." The beaver doesn't look particularly grateful.
"For Sam… a bow and a quiver full of arrows."
"Thank you, sir!" Sam makes a clumsy bow, spilling half of his arrows on the ground. Father Christmas looks tempted to take the present back, but says nothing.
"For Dean… a subscription for Busty Asian Beauties. It's enchanted, so the magazines will be delivered directly to your car."
"And for Castiel… a sword to fight evil with!" He holds out a sword that would look highly impressive and dangerous, but since it's unpolished and has some nicks in the edge doesn't really manage to do so.
"Uh, actually, I already have one," Castiel says, his angel blade materializing in his hand for proof. "But you have my gratitude anyway."
"Oh. I see." Father Christmas slumps and looks at the sword awkwardly, as if he doesn't really know what to do with it, whereupon he throws it over his shoulder, almost removing Sam's left ear. "Anyway, I must be off. Many gifts to deliver. Ho ho ho, and stuff." He starts climbing back up the hill, gasping for breath, muttering about laying off the tobacco.
"Goodbye then, sir! Thanks for the bow!"
"And the sword."
"And the magazines!"
Silence. Castiel nudges Mr Beaver with his knee. Mr Beaver sighs. "And for the map and compass."
Castiel wonders, briefly, how long the writer will get away with similar rubbish. He's not the only one asking this question.
"This is the Stone Table?" Dean utters with disbelief when they finally reach their destination. "A table made of stone?"
"Uh, yeah. What did you think it would be?" Mr Beaver huffs.
"I figured that…" he waves his arms around in frustration, "that it was only code for 'a big friggin' manor', or something."
Sam pays no attention to this exchange of opinions. He's busy drawing his new bow, in hope of getting a shot at the cheese monster. Castiel looks around with careful interest.
In the clearing, there are six or seven tents. All of them save one are usual green camping tents. The last one is yellow and red and much fancier than the other ones, and knows it.
The clearing is full of talking animals and other mythical creatures, such as centaurs, unicorns and Loch Ness-monsters. (Man, some cleanup I could do here with some salt and a lighter, Dean says to himself.) In the centre of the group, there's a big lion gaping at them.
"Goodness gracious me!" it exclaims. "We didn't expect you for at least another thirty minutes. I do apologize, but afternoon tea isn't ready yet."
This greeting is returned with silence. Sam lowers his bow uncertainly. Dean raises his eyebrows at the lion. Castiel shows no expression at all.
"Oh great Aslan," Mr Beaver hesitatingly starts, "here are the children of Adam."
Dean, Sam and Castiel throw each other quick looks. Since they are such a close-knit team, they have no problems with silent communication.
It's the cheese monster!
Be ready to duck, if he starts spitting brie.
He doesn't look very dairy-like to me.
Shut up, Cas.
What do we do?
I say we take him down.
That would not be advisable, considering the number of allies he's got.
In any case, we should find the missing children first.
They might still be playing hide-and-seek.
Maybe they'll show up if we call out "game over"?
Or maybe they won't.
Sam becomes aware of someone nudging his leg. He looks down and sees Mr Beaver, who's gesticulating in Aslan's direction. "Go on!" he hisses. "Don't just stand there!"
Sam looks at Castiel and Dean and shrugs half-heartedly, whereupon they all approach the lion. "Um… hello Mr Aslan." (Behind them, Mr Beaver is burying his face in his front paws, devastated that someone would greet the great Aslan with such common words.)
"Welcome, Castiel and Dean, sons of Adam. Welcome, Sam, daughter of Eve." (Sam's jaw tenses and his hand tightens around the bow. Dean gives a very un-manly giggle.) "But where is the fourth?"
"Yes, there's supposed to be four of you. At least, that's the impression I've got." Aslan waves with his paw and a centaur hauls up a book, identical to the one Harry the dwarf had, and reads quietly. "Yes sir, there should be four of them. Two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve."
Aslan and all the other creatures look at Sam, Dean and Castiel expectantly.
"Um…" Dean starts, but doesn't finish the sentence.
What shall we do?
It appears as if our identities have been mistaken.
No shit. Go back in time five hours and tell me that, and I'll pretend to be surprised.
This is what is called "sarcasm", am I right?
Guys, I'm serious! We need to do something! If he finds out that we aren't those people he believes we are, he might eat us or something. I'm not that good with my bow yet.
My suggestion is that we play along for now, and pretend that the last daughter of Eve is on her way and will be here soon. Meanwhile, we search for the children and plan our next step.
While both Dean and Sam think that this is a rather shitty plan, none of them can come up with anything better, so they decide to go along with it. Sam gives Aslan a charming smile (which doesn't do a lot to convince anyone that he's not a she). "Mr Aslan, our sister… Pamela… will be here in a minute. She wanted to be alone for a while 'cause she, um, is having her girly days. You know how it is."
Aslan doesn't look like he knows how it is, but fortunately decides not to press the issue. "Which one of you is the oldest?"
"That would be me," Castiel says, stepping forward. Aslan puts a paw on his shoulder, and seems surprised when he doesn't buckle under the weight. "Uh… anyway, son of Adam, come with me. I will show you a far-off sight of the castle where you are to be king."
Castiel tilts his head (457,587!), but follows the lion, which walks up to the edge of the hill and reaches out with his front paw. "Behold, Cair Paravel!"
"There, where I'm pointing."
"I can see that you're pointing, sir, but I can't see any castle."
"Get down on your knees; look at it from this angle."
"My apologies, but I'm still unable to…"
"Hello! Could we get some binoculars over here?"
A yeti walks up to them and hands Castiel a pair of binoculars. He stares at them stupidly.
"You're supposed to hold them in front of your eyes," the yeti provides helpfully. The angel follows the advice and manages to get it right on the third attempt.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are searching for the missing children, trying to be as discreet as possible. This doesn't prove to be very easy, since at least forty different creatures are all watching them with deep interest.
"Is everything all right, children?" asks a dryad. Dean gives a tense smile. "Things are great, ma'am, but thanks for asking."
"You look lost. Are you sure you don't need any help?"
"Yes, we're sure."
"Well, if you're certain…"
"THERE YOU ARE!"
Everyone present whips around, even Aslan and Castiel from their position at the edge of the cliff. From the direction they originally arrived, five new creatures appear – or rather, four human kids and one beaver.
A female beaver, to be precise. A female beaver now marching up to Mr Beaver, poking him in the chest with a claw. "You! Weren't you supposed to go and find the children of Adam and bring them home to us?"
"Um," Mr Beaver stutters, looking from the other beaver to Castiel to Sam to Dean and back again. "Yes…?"
"So where the hell were you? I waited and waited and the food grew cold and it ended up with my having to go out and find them on my own. It took ages. What good are you, mister?"
"Don't you honeybunch me, you useless fur tuft! I knew I should've listened to mum and married Terry instead. 'Agatha', she told me, 'that Thomas fellow is not a good choice for a husband. And I should know, I've been through a few.' But did I listen? Nooo, I decided to 'follow my heart'," she rolls her eyes, "and go for you instead. My, what an idiot I was. You're worthless! If you want something right, you have to do it yourself…"
While every living creature within a three mile radius is listening Dean, Sam and Castiel take their chance. Before you can say "I so did not see that coming," the three of them rush forward, gather up the bewildered children in their arms and run off into the distance with Dean in the lead. Having an cotton ball's sense of direction, he runs completely the wrong way and comes to a halt with a screeching sound (at least there would have been a screeching sound if the grass had been asphalt and Dean had been the Impala) about two inches from the edge of the cliff. Sam stops right behind him – but, predictably enough, is crashed into from behind by Castiel, and it all ends with a pile-up including four children, two men and one angel all rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling, finally crashing into a shrubbery…
… and finding themselves tumbling out of a wardrobe.
Dean rubs his head. "What happened?"
"We got out, I guess," Sam says uncertainly.
"It appears we didn't get the children with us," Castiel adds while getting to his feet, being all business as usual.
A few moments of wildly looking around shows that true enough, the four kids are not there. Sam even walks into the wardrobe to check, but neither any kids nor a secret passageway are evident.
"What the hell?"
"I don't know."
"No seriously, what the hell?"
"I don't know!"
"My theory is that we've just got out the way the children first got in."
Dean frowns. "You mean we took the wrong exit?"
"Hey Dean?" Sam says thoughtfully.
"If we're here, doesn't that mean that those British kids are in the Impala?"
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