Rated for: ? does it need a rating ?
Fandom/Universe: Supernatural / ?
Characters: Dean Winchester, Castiel, Balthazar, OC
Spoilers/Warning: None yet
Disclaimer: Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. No infringement intended.
Time means nothing here.
The only thing that matters is survival and that's exactly what she's done from the moment her eyes opened to the dark and the sounds.
The cries and guttural growls that hiss and snap in her ears from the shadows and the dark corners. The howls that tear through her forced calm, that bring an involuntary cringe and wince and the in-drawn breath that doesn't seem to fill her lungs.
The wet sulfuric stench of the cold nose pushed into her neck snaps her to attention. She sits up, careful not to smack her head on the damp rock and uses her hand to push back Dude. He's a huge mo-fo, ugly as fuck and yet prettier than his brethren which is saying a whole damn much about where her head is if she's considering this monster pretty. Forget that Dude is a hellhound, ignore the fact these pooches are responsible for ripping souls to shreds- fuck, they killed Dean-
'That was another life. Stop thinking about him, about them and home. This is home now.'
It's what she tells herself every time her mind wanders and she thinks of Dean. It's too late to change the past and really…what other choice did she have?
Dude huffs a low snarl at her, sharp, fangy-teeth bared showing the bits of flesh caught between the slightly yellowed implements of death.
"Yeah." It's a low hiss of breath at most but he hears it and sees her hand reaching to the side pocket of her cargos where she keeps his tooth-pick. Yes. Tooth-pick. She holds up the thin bit of metal, thick as a pencil and just as long. Dude drops to the ground, head up and maw opening wide. The sight is sort of funny and she smiles thinking if the others could see her with Dude they'd totally freak and then her smile falters because they are no longer part of her life.
She grabs Dude's maw and quickly gets rid of the offending bits before they become infectious pus-filled welts though that's what got the hellhound in her corner in the first place.
"You're gross, Dude." He answers with a growled snort and purposely bumps her getting up again. "Jerk. Don't come whining to get a teeth cleaning." She calls to his back as he exits the tiny cave she's made her bed. It's a cramped fit for him but the other hounds she's seen are about his size or bigger and he likes plugging up her exit anyway. She's just thankful the hound doesn't gas her while she's trying to rest.
The sounds … it's louder when she has nothing else to focus on. She's half-crazy from it already. Hiding in her cave won't get her food but then… there isn't much that is edible. Most times, it's Dude that brings her the measly vegan meal she'll sort of eat. She makes it a point not to eat body parts and he's smart enough to bring torn up chunks she can't identify when he's feeling playful or just plain annoyed with her.
"Maybe this time you'll let me eat something poisonous." She mutters under her breath and steps out. The cold seeps into her bones almost immediately. It's an ache she hasn't been able to get used to or forget but it's better than the itch all over her skin from before. "Let's go."
Dude snaps at her hand where she smacked him. He's not trying to maim her but he's gotta keep up the evil hound image and just for fun sprints off. She keeps up- running is imperative when in purgatory if you want to stay in one piece but then most things in purgatory are faster. Dude just slows it down to keep her in sight.
The howls reach her sensitive ears as Dude abruptly stops and she trips over him. Sitting in dirt she swipes dark strands of lose hair out of her face and tries to focus on where they all are. She flinches from the loud howl tearing out of Dude, his body trembling with energy. Something's changed- a thread of energy shooting through the whole place that makes it different- something…better.
It's been so long but that feeling … 'hope' … she had that once. She felt it every time he was near, whether she could see him or not the feeling … it was just strong enough for her to sense and sometimes take comfort in.
"Dude!" she grabs the hound, his fur jutting out between her fingers as she locks eyes with the glowing red orbs. "Find it."
The howls call again and she sees him wanting to go where they're converging, wants his piece of the what they're about to kill.
"Damn it!" she gets up on her knees and yanks on his fur again earning fangs and a snarled breath of sulfur. "Take me to it! NO!" she falls to her hands as he lunges to where the killing is going down but he doesn't stop and she curses at the hound.
She's alone in her search for him now. At least she thinks it's him and maybe they didn't forget about her. Maybe they finally found a way to get her home. That alone gets her up and moving though she doesn't know which way to go. There's no real direction she can follow except for the feeling.
He knows what that is. There's no mistaking the bright shine of a heavenly grace, especially not in a dark place like purgatory. That alone is enough to draw even the biggest bad-est monster from its corner of the kingdom. He figures the others will be out soon enough if they aren't already in search of that grace. Every monster is going to want it for themselves… so is it worth the trouble of trying to get to it first?
He thinks maybe it is.
But he doesn't have far to go before its close enough he recognizes his brother in that ridiculous trench coat.
The blue eyes dart around and the confusion clears with recognition then darken with sadness and, well, is that … remorse?
"Brother…" Castiel fidgets, shoulders twitching uncomfortably, his eyes darting to the ground unable to meet Balthazar and that familiar smile. "I'm-."
"Sorry?" Balthazar finishes and offers a slight chuckle before gripping Castiel's shoulders. "Why? For killing me because I helped out your humans?" he shakes his head, a hand raised to the darkness all around them. "All forgotten. Water under the bridge, brother."
Castiel smiles, his laugh shaky and the goofy expression registers as Balthazar studies him. "I thought you'd be more upset. I have to say I'm relieved. We shouldn't-."
"Are you alright, Cas? You seem…" Balthazar steps back, his eyes darting around wondering if maybe there's something else going on.
"Yes, for the most part- I'm abstaining from any type of violence. It isn't healthy and we should really just try to get along, don't you think it's best?"
Balthazar is confused. Castiel. Non-violent? Unhealthy? "What did those humans do?"
"Dean and Sam? Nothing." Castiel looks absolutely chastised.
Balthazar takes another quick step away from Castiel. Wonders if maybe it's catching and hopes not while surreptitiously wiping his hands on his thighs.
"You're in the wrong place brother. Purgatory isn't made for the tree huggers, Cas. It's kill or die here."
Once again Castiel looks around and the shadows are deeper, the red eyes flashing from behind warped out trees and Balthazar frowns, staring at the way Cas is worrying his fingers together.
"I didn't want to leave him." Castiel murmurs sounding like a child. Balthazar finds the bright blue eyes on him, beseeching, and that's…it's just…
"For the love of…! who?" Balthazar sighs and why is it any of his concern who else is here though he can take a guess and be 1 out of 2 correct in his assumption there's a Winchester somewhere in purgatory right this second.
"Of course." Because who else is Castiel going to chase after if not Dean Winchester…
He's going to die.
'I'm going to kill him!'
How could he just up and disappear? Yeah, the friggin nerd is all no-smiting and full with the "Pull my finger"- FUCK! Couldn't Cas have taken him too? The douche owed him, right?
The crunch and snap of jaws on his heels sounds much closer and Dean put on some speed but he's clear on the outcome here.
He is dead.
No matter what, adrenaline isn't going to make him Superman and the damn bone is gone- snapped in half right in the fugly's eye but that was one down and the rest of the hellhounds on his heels ready to rip him apart.
He's not going to think about before. He's not going to let those memories overwhelm him with feelings he'd rather never have to experience again. He doesn't want to remember how the hounds dug their claws in his chest and tore him open. He doesn't want to remember the pain, the burning agony of having his guts yanked, the burn in his throat from screaming so loud it felt like his head was going to explode from the echo of it shaking through him.
This isn't Hell.
Yeah, he could use it. He didn't pull it out right away because what the fuck was a 9mm going to do to a hellhound? Still, if that was all he had left …
The ground changes, its softer and what he's been telling himself are little twigs snapping under his boots are really bones from old kills. His feet sink in slowing him down while the hounds don't seem to care. He splashes through a puddle and Dean really tries not to think of what's in it. Does it rain in purgatory? Because the alternative to what's in that puddle-
The ground starts to rise and the hounds are so close he can feel their breath, that sulfuric stench brings back some paralyzing images but he can't stop running. No way is Dean Winchester gonna be an easy kill. He's Not going down without a fight!
The ground drops out.
Its too late to stop his forward momentum and its nothing but black out there.