Title: This Can't End Well, Part Eight
Pairings/Characters: Dean/Castiel, Sam/Gabriel
Spoilers: Season 4/5/6
Warnings: confusion, character death, angst, dub-con, violence, language, creature!boys, HEA.
Word Count: WIP
Summary: "I'm sorry, Cas, but you just wouldn't listen."
Notes: Unbeta'd. All mistakes are my own.
Dean had never purposefully invaded the mind of another creature using his powers before. There was a time before Castiel, when Dean was little more than an animal driven by instincts, needs to fight and fuck and survive the only thing keeping him fast enough to avoid what few Hunters there were left in his world, and to avoid the higher powers living on the land that would find his presence distasteful. Despite that, Dean had never needed to use his species' trump card – that is, the ability to invade and investigate memories, thoughts and emotions of another creature. It was a tricky business and sketchy, both morally and physically, at best, but he was willing to give it a try if this demon could give him answers as to why he was here and how in the Hell he could get back.
The woman's eyes were wide with surprise that Dean was going to attempt this magic on her, and she shrieked and lashed out at him with nails long enough to be called claws, and caught Dean on his neck, slicing three clean lines through him. At that, high off the recent feed and shaky with his power, Dean snarled at struck back, hand tightening around her throat hard enough to choke her. She didn't need air, but human instinct was a hard thing to overcome and her hands clawed at his arm, but his arms were longer and he could easily hold her at bay.
Dean closed his eyes, and concentrated. Part of him locked tight around the demon's blackened soul, squeezing with just enough pressure to give her a warning against struggling too hard, and the other part of him dove deeper. He stepped closer to the demon, eyes flaring open and shining with the silver lens, and her own eyes were blackened in defense and fear when he searched her, looked for the smallest crack in her façade that he would be able to slip through and infect her like a poison.
She swallowed, muscles in her neck flexing under Dean's hand, and the creature smiled, baring teeth that were still bloody from Castiel. His fingers tightened. "There we are," he whispered, allowing himself to fold and condense into the demon's soul, into her mind, soaking into her like water into a sponge, and once he was inside, he spread out and began to search.
"Tell me your name," he whispered aloud, so that Sam and Castiel could hear the questions he was asking her, even if they would not be able to hear what she said back.
Her voice, darker in her head somehow, like merely a name could threaten him, floated back across their entwined consciences; Abaddon.
"Abaddon," he repeated, for Sam and Castiel's benefit, but didn't withdraw enough to see if the name struck any chord with them. Instead, he pressed deeper, more eagerly immersing himself in the demon's psyche. "Why are you here?"
Her laughter made him shudder, and he bared his teeth at her again, hand around her neck squeezing harder. For a tea party, she taunted back, her own smile widening at him. Such pretty eyes, whore, I can't wait to claw them out.
Dean curled his upper lip back; he had forgotten how demons would talk you in circles before giving any real answer – one reason why they worked so well in law. Only thing that would argue with a demon was another demon. "I won't ask again."
Good, she replied with a grin, 'cause I don't like repeating myself.
Dean was beginning to lose what little patience he had had to begin with – the scent of Castiel's blood stung at his nose, coated the back of his throat like honey, and further reminded him of his betrayal to his mate. It made him feel wrong, savage, like back in the dark days before Castiel had found him and shown him how to live with what he was and control himself and be content with his lot in life. His species was rare and Dean had never known companionship like the vampire's until Castiel came along, and the fact that he would betray that trust and that bond so easily, slide back into the hollow pit of feral behavior and savagery that he'd had before – it bothered him. Made him angry, and violent.
Without warning he yanked the demon close to him, kicking out to make her trip and used his body weight to pin her to the ground. The part of him that was wrapped tight around her soul and not her neck, began to coil tighter – a large serpent that had caught a mouse – and he glared down haughtily at her while she began to choke and red light began to go off behind her eyes.
"Now you listen to me, you arrogant bitch," he hissed, arm braced and keeping her down with the chokehold, but now he was not just physically harming her, but in her soul as well. She could be snapped from existence with a twist of his hand, and the look in her eyes said she knew it. "You know exactly what I am and what I can do to you – so, this can go easily enough. You tell me what I want to know, I open this trap and we both go free. If not, well, I'm stuck in here as long as you are, and I got all the time in the world."
He leaned down, then, still not letting her talk because he was squeezing her so tightly, and she was beginning to choke, wide green eyes of her female vessel staring up at him with a mix of fear and defiance. "But you see that Angel and Hunter over there?" He forcibly turned her head so that they could both look at Sam and Castiel. Sam was watching with barely restrained tension, his shoulders tight and his gun-wielding hand tapping against his thigh in an irritated gesture. Castiel looked unperturbed save for the furrow in his brow, but Dean knew Abaddon would be able to sense the tension and anger rolling in the Angel's Grace. "Well, they want their Dean back, and I wanna go back to where I came from."
He loosened his hold on her, just a little, enough that she gasped and her eyes dimmed down to their normal color, red no longer flaring up behind her irises. "Give me a name, sweetheart," he murmured, savage and cruel as he smiled down at her. He felt like an animal, caged in and taunted with barbed hooks and the promise of freedom. He just wanted to go home – back to Castiel, his Castiel, who would chain him down and keep him in control of himself in a way Dean simply couldn't on his own.
She stared up at him for another moment, searching his face and the silver that had returned to his eyes, before another name floated to him from across her soul; Crowley.
"Crowley," Dean repeated, and heard Sam suck in a surprised breath at the name. Okay, then. So they had a new lead, at least. That was promising. Without further ceremony Dean released her, body and soul, from his influence, and stood up, allowing her to catch her breath and rise to her feet with as much dignity as she could muster. Bruises were forming around her vessel's neck and she was glaring at Dean like she wanted to tear his face off.
"Now, if that's all taken care of," Abaddon hissed, eyes blackened with hatred and narrowing towards Sam and Castiel, who were still standing immobile outside of the Devil's Trap. "I'd appreciate if you break this little sigil here and let me walk free."
When Sam and Castiel remained where they were, unmoving, Dean immediately went tense again. He remembered how Sam had been ready to go in here and slaughter all of the demons with little more motive than the fact they were demons. He knew this was a different world, things worked differently here, but he couldn't understand the racist motivation – it would be like Castiel randomly going up to Gabriel in the street and slaughtering him just because he was s Djinn. Dean couldn't understand it.
"I promised that we would let her go," Dean said firmly, eyes searching between Sam and Castiel for any weakness in their resolve, and Sam's jaw was clenching repeatedly, seemingly lost in his indecision, before the Angel sighed, shoulders slumping, and took a step towards the edge of the Devil's Trap. "Cas…"
"Dean, she is a demon. A powerful one," Castiel replied, eyes imploring Dean to understand, but the creature frowned. It was still weird, seeing and knowing that this Castiel was obviously not his, but with the scent of his blood and the taste of it in his mouth, Dean was having trouble separating the reality from what his instincts were telling him. "If we let her go, she could flee and warn Crowley that we were coming, or return with reinforcements to destroy us. We cannot allow such a thing to happen."
Dean gasped, unable to believe what he was hearing. "So, what, you're just gonna kill her?" he accused, gesturing in the demon's direction. She seemed mildly amused with the whole proceedings, weight on one leg and biting on a nail while she threw a wink Sam's way. "What the Hell is wrong with you? You're an Angel, you're meant to save people."
There was a split second of nothing, where Dean and Castiel just stared at each other, before Castiel rolled his shoulders; his Grace flaring inside of him very briefly, but powerfully, like a surge of anger and Dean could see it reflected in his eyes. "Do not presume to know me or my motives, Dean," he replied, voice surprisingly hoarse like he was trying to keep his emotions in check. "This is a very different world to yours, and we are wasting precious time."
Still Dean didn't move, and Castiel's eyes flashed with anger. "Step aside, Dean," he said, taking a step closer.
At that, Dean threw a hand out, but he didn't move to attack Castiel, or Abaddon – Castiel froze when he heard Sam take in a startled gasp, and turned to find the Hunter grabbing at his throat, already turning white from lack of air as Dean wrapped his fingers around the air, closing around Sam's throat.
"Open the Devil's Trap, Angel, or I swear to God I'll -."
He couldn't finish – didn't need to. Sam had fallen to his knees, dropping his weapon, clawing at something that wasn't there to be budged. Dean's eyes were hard on Castiel, waiting for his reaction as Castiel watched Sam fall, eyes wide and almost panicked. His Grace flared with indecision, instinctive malice towards anything doing Sam harm, and then he finally turned to Dean.
The creature felt like he was going crazy – his fingers were frozen. He wouldn't tighten them anymore, but that didn't mean Sam would live if he kept it up too long. He couldn't force the threat out, but he didn't need to – Castiel didn't dare call his bluff.
"Okay, Dean, okay," the Angel murmured, holding his hands up in surrender and pleading with Dean to stop. After another second, Dean allowed his arm to drop, his fingers shaking as Sam gasped and tried to regain air into his starving lungs. Castiel waved his hand and a foot of the outer circle in the Devil's Trap disappeared, allowing both Dean and Abaddon to walk free.
The demon clapped her hands slowly in appreciation, and turned towards Dean. "I'll remember this, whore," she said, but not with the same derision as before, and Dean hissed at her, upper lip curling back, before she walked out of the church unmolested and disappeared out of the front door. Dean stepped out of the broken Trap as well, just in case Castiel decided that he had forfeited his trust and would be trapped within once again.
Castiel turned from him without a word, and went to Sam's side, helping him up to be sure he was alright. Dean bit his lower lip, rubbing the back of his head – he could read the betrayal and anger still set into the Angel's expression, the grey marring his churning Grace.
When Sam and Castiel were both standing again and Sam appeared to have recovered, Castiel turned back to Dean. The look in his eyes demanded an explanation, down to the clench of his jaw and the tilt of his head.
Dean swallowed, and said earnestly; "You just wouldn't listen."
"Well, I suppose it is not of import anymore," Castiel replied tersely, settling a hand on Sam's arm. "Are you alright?" he asked, and the Hunter nodded, breathing out heavily through his nose and trying to avoid Dean's eyes. "Then we had best return to the motel room for the night, and begin the search for Crowley. I have no desire to play this mission out any longer than it has to." With that, the Angel turned cold, guarded eyes back to the creature. Dean looked contrite, but of course he would – this thing did have a conscience, however grey it was: Castiel just didn't appreciate someone threatening his friend, especially wearing the face of someone he was so close to. "I want to get you back where you belong as soon as possible."
Dean was screaming – loudly, seemingly without end. The poison from the skinwalker's bite had seeped well and truly into his body, and if Gabriel didn't act fast, they would likely lose him to the change, or the disease.
"Set him down, set him down!" the Djinn demanded, black markings flaring to life on his face as he pushed the instruments Castiel had set on the table in the basement aside, and the vampire obeyed, laying him on his side so that when he began to cough up blood he wouldn't be choked on it. "Fuck, okay, Cas, get me silver and wolfsbane and something I can close the wound with. I'll try and hold it at bay for now."
Without a word the vampire disappeared, reappearing moments later with what Gabriel had asked for. Gabriel knew that Castiel, trained as he was and in the line of work that he is, would have a stash of pretty much any and all kinds of ways to kill or harm or discourage another supernatural creature from invading or attacking him. Dean and Gabriel were the only ones who could enter his house freely without special permission, and Gabriel knew Castiel would have a veritable hoard of weapons and spell ingredients at his disposal.
The Djinn muttered out a terse 'Thanks', and set to work. Castiel hovered close-by, ready to be of help or fetch more things if it was needed. The sight of Dean, strung out on the poison and clearly in pain, distressed him – though he wasn't sure if it was because it reminded him too strongly of Dean in the before, when instinct and violence had driven him, or if it was because he stood a good chance of potentially losing his only lead on what had happened to his mate.
He trusted Gabriel, knew the Djinn knew was he was doing, but he still worried.
Dean let out another loud, pained cry, and the sound of it was enough to make Castiel flinch, nails digging into his forearms to try and stop himself going to the creature who looked so much like his mate, sounded like him when he was in such pain. He closed his eyes and turned away, breathing out. The stench of human blood, tainted as it was by skinwalker poison, was nauseatingly strong and Castiel wished for nothing more than to go outside.
Finally – finally, thank God – Dean's cries subsided, and he fell into a fitful state somewhere between sleep and unconsciousness. Gabriel sighed in relief, wiping a blood-stained forearm across his sweaty brow, and stood from where he had been bent over Dean, working on him to try and stop the effects of the poison, if not remove it completely.
"I've managed to halt its progress," he said, wiping his face again. "He'll need to keep dosing up on wolfsbane, and as long as he manages that the bite should eventually wither and die."
"If he is truly friends with an Angel," Castiel whispered, voice raw, "then I have no doubt they will be able to take care of it once he is returned to his rightful place."
"Why the fuck does Zachariah want with you now? I thought you'd settled the dispute with the covens down South."
Castiel frowned at that, worrying his lower lip between his teeth. He folded his arms across his chest and glanced over to Dean, then to Gabriel, and back. "I have no idea," he said, hesitantly – not in the way that meant he was lying, but in the way that he was trying to come up with the answer as he spoke. "It is entirely possible, I suppose, that the skinwalkers were able to smell Dean and moved in on us purely for the sport of it. I can't think of another reason."
Gabriel considered that, looking back to the prone form of the human. Dean's heartbeat was too fast, trying to pump all of the poison out of him, and Gabriel shook his head. "Nah, when is it ever that simple, huh? This thing reeks of foul play." He paused again, cocking his head to one side, before he turned to look back at the vampire. "I'm gonna go outside, scout around, see what I can see. You stay here and guard the Hunter."
Castiel's lip curled back in instinctive reply to that, but he acquiesced with a nod of his head – it made more sense. Castiel was a better fighter, could defend Dean better should trouble come their way, and Gabriel, true, had duller senses than Castiel, but he had more than the vampire could even begin to imagine – Djinni could see things that weren't necessarily there to human or other supernatural eyes, and if anyone could sniff out something dark going on behind this, it would be him.
"Be safe out there, Gabriel," Castiel murmured when the Djinn was headed up the stairs to the house proper. Gabriel didn't reply vocally, but he paused for a moment and nodded before continuing onwards.
The click of the door behind him seemed very final, somehow.