"In the last two decades, all over the world, a new species had become known to mankind. Angels. The biblical teachings hadn't proven to be as powerful as those that believed them had hoped; the response to such a creature was simple: Catch them. Train them. Make them our slaves.
"The holy beasts hadn't seen it coming and thusly were taken down in the first attempts; humans managed to catch several angels before the things drew back, majority of them shocked and confused. For some reason they had expected a warmer welcome.
"From the few that they caught, mankind figured out their weaknesses and different ways to control them; cages were created to hold them, shackles on their limbs held their powers in, and of course a spell cast to force their cooperation. That spell was discovered and used to bind the creature to a single human; they had to listen to every command and whim of the person they were owned by. It was a great help that angels could read minds and all sorts of different things; if their owner so much as wished them to do something it was almost enough to force them into it.
"It didn't take long; people went out and hunted these beautiful things for themselves. Angels were caught and enslaved; made to be pets to mankind. It's believed that all angels have been captured though some still think that there are several of them out there, left wild and free. The rest of the angels can be bought though the equipment needed to keep them costs a fortune in itself, forget about the cost to buy the damn thing. Whatever the case, if you could buy one you could train it to do whatever you wanted.
"I'd like to take this time to bring up the new tournament that starts tonight in the Angel Battling field of entertainment. See, humans didn't just enslave these creatures we used them. There's all sorts of different fields and events to use your angel in. My personal favourite is the Angel Battling; the tournaments they put everyone in is just insane, and wicked to watch! Any rich bastard can buy an angel and the binding spell; but it takes real skill to catch one and make it yours all on your own-"
"Mr. Winchester, that's enough." Mrs. Harvelle stood up from her desk, a tired smile on her face. "We understand the gist of your report, you may have a seat."
"But I'm not done-"
"You won't get dinged any oral presentation marks, just sit down."
Dean frowned but conceded to his Communications teacher; not wanting to press the issue too much. He dropped into a seat and sighed lightly, folding his arms over his chest contemplatively.
The rest of class dragged on for Dean; he'd gotten himself riled up thinking about that night's coverage on the new major tournament in his favourite sport. He'd been dreaming of angels since he was a little kid, his mom used to say 'Angels are watching over you' before it became common to own one. He'd dreamt of having his own, becoming the best fighter in the entire league. That is what he really wanted. Sure he loved cars and everything that was being a mechanic but honestly? Angels was what he wanted; their unmatched beauty was enough to want one.
The bell rang and he was off, darting down the halls to get his things, a smile on his face.
Dean and Sam walked side by side on their way home; Dean would never admit it but Sam was almost his height already, just a few inches off. 'When I get an angel it's going to be shorter than me, that's for sure.' Dean thought dismally, barely able to see the top of his brother's head.
"Dean," Sam spoke suddenly, though the nature of his tone was difficult to place. "Do you really think there are angels out there? I mean, left free?"
Dean understood it now; Sam had always been adamantly against the enslavement of angels. That was either sadness or some form of hope in his voice. "I'm sure there are, Sammy. And as soon as I have enough money to get the hunting equipment I'm gonna go catch me one."
"Dean!" Sam snapped, "They're not animals!"
"Well they aren't human either." Dean argued casually.
"They talk and think just like us! Most of them do it better than most of us, how can we lock them up in cages and put shackles and collars on them? And some of the things we have them doing is disgusting; I can't believe you watch that horrible show." Sam growled bitterly.
"It's a good show," Dean frowned, "It's just fighting-"
"We pit them against their own brothers and sisters and tell them to fight! How would you feel if someone kidnapped us and then threw us into a ring together; then told you to beat the shit out of me?"
"It's not the same thing, Sam."
"How is it not!"
Dean walked up the front steps to their house, Sam's bitching faded to the background for him as he watched his dad readjust straps on his truck; a large cage perched on the back. "Dad?" Dean eyed the wire frame of the cage curiously, "What's up?"
"I'm going hunting with the guys," John threw a blanket over the heavy metal object, "No big deal."
"Bringing back a bear?" Dean stepped back, knowing when he should get his nose out of John's business.
"Bringing back something," John walked back toward the house, "Come on inside, your mom's got supper ready."
Sam stared at the cage as he walked inside, something unpleasant churning in his stomach. "Dad, what are you gonna catch?"
John didn't answer, not wanting to argue with his youngest another time over 'animal cruelty'. "Come on."
That night, Dean turned the TV off with a satisfied sigh. His favourite team had won this last round; he couldn't wait to see more from Michael and his human Bella. They dominated every tournament ever since someone managed to team up with the super powered archangel; apparently those things took a special kind of person to control them. Dean stretched and started up the stairs, "I'm off to bed, 'night!" He called to the house, knowing that his dad was out for the weekend with Bobby and Rufus and his mom and Sam were probably already in bed.
The lights in the Winchester household dimmed as every dozed off; Dean looking forward to the next day. Tomorrow was his birthday, granted his father seemed to forget but he knew that his mom wouldn't let him down; there would be cake.
===Earlier that evening…
"You know you're crazy, right?" Rufus grumbled from the backseat of John's pickup, "Ain't none of them things left out here, why are we wastin' our time?"
"Because, Rufus, if you had been paying attention from the start you'd know that I caught sight of one lurking around here." Bobby snapped back a retort.
"And how do you know it wasn't someone else's?" Rufus sat forward in his seat, glaring at the baseball cap in front of him.
"It wasn't wearin' a collar," Bobby explained, "No angel's allowed to run around without a collar on if somebody owns 'em."
John pulled to a stop and stepped out, "This is the place, right?" He looked at the men in his truck who slowly climbed out, stretching their legs.
"Yep," Bobby nodded, "What're ya gonna use for bait? I'm not sure your makeshift stuff's gonna cut it."
"I have ways." John walked over to the side of his truck and pulled out several tools and set up an angel trap. He chanted something over a large net and positioned it appropriately, "Alright guys, pass me that paper bag."
Rufus looked at the bag John had showed up with and shrugged, handing it over to the Winchester. "What's in there?"
John opened I up and unwrapped a round object surrounded by tinfoil, "Cheeseburgers."
Bobby and Rufus seemed pleased, "Well hell, pass me one I'm starved." Rufus reached out but John pulled it away.
"It's the bait." John reasoned, unwrapping all the burgers and placing them in a nice pile in the middle of his little 'trap'.
"Are you an idjit?" Bobby could barely manage the words, he was too dumbfounded.
"Hey," John looked at them, "It's worth a shot."
"I hope you brought stuff for us too," Rufus complained looking around in the truck.
Several hours passed, the men sat together out of sight from the trap and joking about how ridiculous the whole thing was. John had just finished mocking himself when they heard a deafening, high-pitched whine coming from their site; and a sound that was reminiscent of a struggle.
The three men looked at one another for a moment before leaping up and running over to see what they'd caught with a pile of cheeseburgers, majority of them expecting to see some kind of animal tangled in the enchanted net.
They were wrong.
Bright wings flapped desperately in the links of the net, hands pushed and legs kicked out but helped him nothing. The angel whined again, continuing his futile struggle against the angelic binding until he tired of appearing silly to the humans watching him.
"I can't believe it." Bobby breathed.
"You caught an angel with cheeseburgers." Rufus laughed, "Damn Winchester, they should write a book about you."
John marched over to the bundle of feathers and peered down, he knew that angels were powerful and very dangerous when they were free so he didn't dare remove the net. Instead he started to haul it to his truck. "Help me get him in the cage," John shouted at the other two, "It's solid, it'll hold him for sure."
"Where'd you even get one of those anyway?" Rufus groaned as he pulled the surprisingly heavy dead-weight angel.
"We made it," Bobby smirked, "Just had 'ta figure out what they did to make 'em so special, wasn't so hard."
"So it might not work?" Rufus looked at them.
"It'll work." John said solemnly.
"Uh huh. But jes' in case it don't I'm ridin' shotgun."
"Just shut up and pull." Bobby grumbled.