AN: I had no idea how to approach this chapter and future chapters. I wanted to stay as close to canon as possible, but certain scenes just wouldn't be possible. So, here is a very basic rewrite of the first couple scenes, and then we start to diverge even more, just borrowing scenes from the series. As always, thank you so much for your patience! Dialogue blatantly ripped from S05E01.
Waiting for Salvation
The first thing Dean noticed upon entering Chuck's house was the blood. He could just barely make out small traces of Raphael's Grace lingering. He hoped for the best, but feared the worst. Either way, Castiel was not there. He could feel Chuck's presence, so he hoped the prophet knew where Castiel had got to.
He looked up from the mess on the floor when he heard Sam's pained cry. He tried not to laugh at the sight of Chuck brandishing a plunger. Chuck muttered a quick apology, and stared.
'So, you guys are…you're okay?' Chuck asked uncertainly.
Sam gave Chuck a disbelieving look as he touched his head where he had been hit. 'Well, my head hurts,' he said.
Chuck shook his head. 'No! No, I mean… I mean m-my last vision…,' he stuttered. 'You went, like, full-on Vader! Your body temperature was 150. Your heart rate was 200. …Your eyes were black!'
Dean turned his attention to Sam. 'Your eyes went black?' he regretted saying it the moment Sam turned to him, shamefaced.
'It's all right,' Dean cut in. 'God knows what my Grace looks like…' He placed a reassuring hand on Sam's shoulder and gave a brief nod. He saw the relief flood over Sam's features and turned back to Chuck. 'Where's Cas?'
Chuck shook his head slightly. 'He's dead.'
Dean's breath caught.
'Or gone,' Chuck continued. 'The archangel smote the crap out of him. I…I'm sorry.'
'You're sure? I mean…maybe he managed to get away,' Dean said, not hiding the tremor in his voice. 'Ran away. Ditched his vessel at the last second. Something!'
'On, no. He, like, exploded,' Chuck replied, gesturing with his arms. 'Like a…a water balloon of chunky soup. I could feel him… He didn't fade, just…just gone.'
Dean looked away, distraught. He didn't have time to dwell on his feelings, though. He could feel a small group of angels heading their way. He was not in the mood for their crap. He looked around for a hidden surface to draw a banishment spell on. With Lucifer on the loose, and God nowhere to be found, he didn't need to give Heaven a reason to hunt him down, too. He looked up and grimaced as Chuck pulled a bloodied tooth from his hair. Castiel's vessel was definitely gone… Maybe Castiel was just hiding out somewhere, licking his wounds. Dean sighed. Who was he kidding? Castiel was dead. He didn't really think about it before, but they both knew the younger angel probably wouldn't escape his confrontation with Raphael with his life.
'This has been a really stressful day!' Chuck said.
Dean nodded as he cut into his hand and pulled the sliding door out. 'Cas, you stupid bastard,' he muttered as he began drawing on the door.
'Stupid? He was trying to help us,' Sam pointed out. He frowned at the bloody symbols Dean was drawing.
'Yeah, exactly,' Dean replied. He finished up the spell and slid the door back in place.
'So what now?' Sam asked.
'I don't know,' Dean admitted. He gave Sam a worried glance and a shrug.
'Oh, crap,' Chuck said softly, looking around.
Dean nodded and faced away from the kitchen. 'I know.'
'What?' Sam asked in confusion.
'Thought we'd find you here!'
Sam turned quickly to see three men he didn't recognize. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Dean turn to face the angels with a look of feigned surprise.
'Playtime's over, Dean,' Zachariah said as he toed at some of the debris littering the ground. 'Time to come with us.
Dean gritted his teeth as Zachariah spoke. Between craving a demon and Castiel gone, he had very little control over himself. He stuck with sarcasm and short replies. It was taking everything he had to keep from flashing his wings. He took solace in being able to push Zachariah's buttons, making the angel more and more irritated as their conversation progressed.
Talk of Lucifer's vessel came up, and a brief tinge of panic coursed through Dean.
'You can stop him, Dean,' Zachariah said. 'But you need our help.'
'You listen to me, you two-faced douche,' Dean growled. 'After what you did, I don't want jack squat from you!'
'You listen to me, boy,' Zachariah snapped back, taking a step forward. 'You think you can rebel against us? As Lucifer did?' He laughed derisively, trailing off as his eyes fell on the blood still dripping from Dean's closed fist. 'You're bleeding.'
'Oh, yeah,' Dean replied as if he had forgotten. And he actually had forgotten to heal his hand after slicing into it. So much time pretending to be human, it was out of habit that he didn't bother with smaller injuries. 'A little insurance policy in case you dicks showed up.' He pulled out the sliding door and slammed his hand against the sigils.
'No!' Zachariah screamed as he and the other two angels were banished.
'Wouldn't be the first time I rebelled, you son of a bitch,' Dean muttered and he flexed his hand and healed it.
'This sucks ass,' Chuck whined as he shook his head.
Dean grimaced as he looked at Chuck. 'Tell me about it… Have you seen far enough ahead to know what happens when they find out about me?' he asked.
Chuck shook his head.
Dean sighed and turned his attention to Sam. 'We should get going.'
Dean desperately wanted a demon. He had already reorganized his duffel five times since Sam had left and cleaned his gun about four. He looked up in shock as the door to the hotel room opened. He watched as Sam approached him. 'Are you real?' he asked.
Sam frowned in confusion then smiled proudly. He pulled out a hex bag from his pocket. 'Hex bags!'
Dean took the bag from Sam. He turned it around in his hands, inspecting it. Now that he held it, he could see his way past the spell. Bits and pieces of Sam's soul shone through, and Dean relaxed. Sam was still obscured from his senses, but at least he knew his brother was actually there.
'They'll keep angels and demons from finding us,' Sam explained.
Dean nodded. 'Yeah, I got that,' he said, smirking as Sam pulled a frown. 'Where'd ya' get it?'
'I made it.' The prideful tone was back in Sam's voice.
'How?' Dean asked as he frowned at the small pouch in his hand. Hex bags were old magic. And for it to cover angel detection, that made the spell even older. It had been so long since he last encountered one that blocked his senses, he had forgotten about them and half of what went into them.
Sam bit his lip and looked away. He looked back at Dean before cautiously replying. 'I…I learned it from Ruby.'
'Well, nice to know the bitch was good for something. Speaking of… How you doing?' Dean asked. He kept picking at the string that held the bag closed. 'Are you jonesing for another hit of bitch blood, or what?'
'I-it's weird… Uh, tell you the truth… I'm fine. No shakes, no fever. It's like…using it all up on Lilith cleaned me right up,' Sam replied. He frowned as Dean tossed the bag back and forth. 'Dean…'
'Sam,' Dean snapped, annoyed. 'It's okay. You don't have to say anything.'
'Well, that's good,' Sam said carefully, keeping an eye on Dean. He watched as Dean paced the hotel room. 'Because what can I even say? I'm sorry? I screwed up? Doesn't really do it justice, you know? Look, there's nothing I can do or say that will ever make this right…'
'So why do you keep bringing it up?!' Dean shouted as he rounded on Sam.
'Are you…are you all right?' Sam asked.
Sam didn't believe Dean for a second. The pacing, the fidgeting…something was up. 'Dean…what… You're acting like I did when I needed more demon blood! What's going on?!'
'I can handle it!' Dean shouted, gesturing widely with his arms. The lights flickered, and he clenched his fists. He let out a slow breath and the lights returned to normal. 'I can handle it,' he said more calmly. 'I've been through worse. Look, let's just…let's just clean up our mess. We'll treat this like any other hunt, all right? So, first thing's first?'
'We uh… We find out where it is…,' Sam replied. His eyes traveled over his brother. If Dean was going through some form of withdrawal, then what could he do to help? Could he and Bobby lock Dean in the panic room? Were there any spells or wards that could contain Dean?
'Right,' Dean said shakily. 'So we just gotta find…Lucifer.'
'Can you sense him?'
Dean shook his head. 'My range isn't like it used to be. Without Heaven backing me, and going through…well…I'm a little limited and distracted right now. And he'll be laying low, anyway.'