Summary: When the Trickster snaps Castiel out of the 'Changing Channels' game show, the angel finds himself in an alt version of L.A. where demons roam the streets and a dragon lays claim to the air. And there's a vampire with a soul?
Setting: Final episode of Angel, Season 5 where Wolfram and Hart are sucking Los Angeles into Hell.
Characters: Castiel, Angel, Spike, Illyria, Gunn, Wesley, mentions of Gabriel/Trickster, Dean, and Sam. Thinking this might be Gunn-centric, in addition to the focus on Castiel, mostly because I've never done a Gunn fic before. We'll see…
Inspiration: This fic was inspired by a line in claudiapriscus' Grace Note on ffnet.
You don't say anything, and he continues, "You were pretty unforgettable. As was the world in which you trapped me."
You frown, momentarily distracted. "...Buffy?"
"Twilight," he corrects, and you wince internally while shrugging outwardly.
This made me think of how Gabriel could have snapped Castiel into an alternate dimension – like the Buffyverse! ;) And that got me to thinking…just how would Cas' presence change things?
Disclaimer: I do not own Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Supernatural. Some 'Angel' dialogue stems from the episode "Not Fade Away", care of the website Buffyworld.
The air crackled with electricity, sending vibrations through their bodies, their souls. Darkness engulfed the city, extinguishing every light, both physical and metaphysical. As the members of Angel Investigations stared out into the sea of demons and unholy creatures, they tugged on the ember of hope within their soul, begging for it to flare again, to comfort them with thoughts of survival. But the darkness soaked into their soul, snuffing that light and leaving them shivering from the coldness it left behind.
Gunn staggered and crumpled against the alley wall, holding his stomach as the blood seeped out past his fingers. His head swam as the blood loss began to leave him incoherent, but he mustered up what strength he could when he looked at his friends. He would be dead soon but if he could go out fighting for people he cared about, that's all that mattered.
Illyria stood still, her feet wide apart as she readied her weak form for the coming attack. Not for the first time she wished fervently for her former form, a gargantuan tentacled mass with the power to crush a legion of enemies with one movement of her body. The body of Winifred Burkle was lithe but frail. Her spirit gave it strength but the Mutari Generator stole much of her powers. Even the pathetic servant of the Wolf, Ram, and Hart – Hamilton – was able to easily dispose of her. As her eyes narrowed at the amassing demons approaching them, Illyria thought that it was possible that tonight may be her final night. Tonight had been Wesley's final night.
That last thought displeased her. Suddenly Illyria was filled with the desire to make belts from the spines of her enemies.
Bittersweet emotion filled Spike as he prepared himself for the coming fight. There was a part of him that knew this was where he was meant to be – after all, Emo Boy couldn't finish this on his own! – but he regretted never reaching out to Buffy, never seeing her once more. Did she know he had come back? Instantly he disregarded his thought. He would be dead soon enough, he figured. Knowing Spike had come back only to die again would not make the Slayer feel better.
Angel thought of his friends, those he led into death. Doyle. Cordelia. Now Wesley, soon Gunn. No matter how many humans he saved, he was still always a couple too short. He thought of Connor and how his son had come back to help him fight Hamilton. Now, looking at the legion before him, he felt strength enter the coldness of his bones, for he was the last defense against evil for humanity, for his son.
The army of bloodthirsty demons appeared. Their numbers were in the hundreds, thousands. They were sorely outmatched.
Gunn called out in a matter-of-fact voice that hid the weakness lying within. "OK. You take the 30,000 on the left..."
Illyria gave him a curious and almost admonishing look. "You're fading. You'll last ten minutes at best."
Gunn climbed up, forcing his weak legs to support him as he held aloft his battleaxe. "Then let's make 'em memorable."
Angel stepped forward and his comrades followed. The noise of the stampeding hoards grew louder in their ears, echoing off the pavement that draped across Los Angeles like a death shroud.
"In terms of a plan?" Spike asked.
"We fight," Angel answered simply.
"Bit more specific," Spike added as the demons neared, less than a hundred feet away at this point.
Angel stepped forward, a grim smile flickering on his face as he stared up into the sky, taking noticed of a great roaring beast. "Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon."
Guttural screams filled the air as the demon army attacked.
"Let's go to work," Angel stated as he swung his sword at the first attacker.
They fought for minutes that felt like hours. Illyria ripped spines out of bodies and choked other opponents with them. Angel beheaded and skewed each beast that approached him. Spike embraced his former self, the vampire who took shit from no one, and threw himself into the crowd; paying especial care to watch Gunn. For his part, Gunn assisted, but his strength was lost and if it wasn't for Spike decapitating a few demons, Gunn would have died quickly.
Something hit Gunn in the gut, perfectly matching his already fatal wound, and he slumped to the ground. As the purple horned demon stood over him, he thought he would certainly die.
And then something happened, causing all the demons to let out high-pitched wails of fear and pain.
A bright light filled the sky, almost blinding Gunn, and something tumbled from a tear in the hemisphere. It fell like a comet and dozens of the demons burst into flames at the light, while others cowered in terror or ran. The object fell in front of Gunn, landing on the purple demon that was effectively burned to death by the object's radiating light. The object flickered and dimmed, leaving an average looking dark-haired man in a trench coat and a tie. Frightened and relieved, Gunn leaned forward to inspect the man, noticing that his friends were glancing at the man in the lapse of the battle; although after a moment the demons attacked even more zealously.
"Hey man, you okay?" Gunn prodded as he tapped the dude on the arm. Typically things that fell out of the sky were of the big and evil variety, but he figured anything that happened to kill demons was probably alright in his book.
The man groaned, his eyes blinking open. Wide blue eyes took in the scene of darkness and despair, and he quickly sat up. "Where am I? Where did the trickster put me?" he asked Gunn in a gravelly voice that made Gunn think of detectives from 1950s television shows.
"Uh, not sure who the trickster is, but you're in L.A," Gunn offered. A cough ripped from his throat and blood speckled his hand when he tried to cover it.
Blue eyes assessed him relentlessly before scanning the demon hoards. "This is not the L.A. that I know." The eyes turned concerned as they looked at Gunn again, although his face was stoic. "And you are dying."
"Eh, we're in the middle of an apocalypse. Wolfram and Hart is trying to suck the city into Hell." Gunn shrugged, but that involuntarily human gesture cost him as pain racketed through his body.
"The Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart?" the man repeated in a low voice. "The Trickster stuck me into this lost dimension? The one that evil claimed so long ago?" His lips pressed into an angry line. "I had thought the connection between our world and yours had been sewed in the ancient past. Opening up the link…is he insane?"
Gunn really wasn't sure who or what the Trickster was, but he sounded like bad news. Also, why the hell did they have the crappy dimension? Why couldn't they get daisies and puppies, like this dude must have had?
The man climbed to his feet. "I must find a way to leave this place immediately before the Winchesters are harmed. I wish you success in your battle."
"Uh, dude?" Gunn asked with a cough. He could feel his heart slowing. There simply wasn't enough blood to circulate his body. "Maybe on your way out you could take out a bunch of these fools?"
The man gave him a look of pity but he said nothing at first. The only sounds were the roars of battle, of Illyria's fist breaking bones, of Spike tearing flesh, and Angel's sword ripping through demons. Finally, he nodded. "Perhaps I can help. Nothing occurs without reason."
Then he placed two fingers on Gunn's temple and something warm flowed into Gunn. It felt wondrous and more exquisite than anything he had ever felt. His stomach began itching and Gunn looked down, his eyes glazed from the pleasure of it all, and he saw his wound began to heal before his eyes. Within a minute, he felt better. Stronger.
"Thank you," Gunn whispered. He truly couldn't believe it. Who was this dude?
The man's head cocked to the side and his lips twitched, as if they were reaching for a smile but did not know how to do that. "I am Castiel, an Angel of the Lord."
Gunn was stunned. "Well…damn," he finally managed. A smile broke free onto his face.
These demons were toast.
Another new story! I just couldn't resist. When inspiration happens I have to write it before I lose it.
So. Thoughts? Want to see this pursued?
Thanks for reading :)