SUMMARY: It's the Apocalypse. Castiel is a human and a hunter. Dean is a demon. It's obviously AU and that's what makes it fun.
Castiel has lost something important and he'd do just about anything to get it back. Anything except ask for help, that is. Eventual Destiel. Lots of characters from the show will be making appearances (just not always how you would expect.) :D And it's probably go M. Run away now if you like.
Continuation of the story "Deadly Sins." It's not absolutely essential that you read that one but it would probably help.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Supernatural and it still makes me sad. So continue to not sue me, please. Thank you.
Pain Lies On The Riverside
Castiel glares at the dash of his stolen car and checks his speed yet again because he can't possibly be going sixty five. The seats are lumpy, the upholstery dotted with mystery stains. Not like his car. His car is pristine. And it better be pristine when he finds it too.
He presses his lips tight, watching the road for clues. So far it's nothing but endless country back roads and scrubby trees. Couldn't the demon at least have run off to someplace a little more interesting?
Suddenly Castiel smiles. It sits a little awkward on his lips but it's there and it's genuine.
Castiel can feel the distance closing between them and he hasn't even had a drink in days. The sky is almost painfully clear. The horizon doesn't shift and twitch when he stares too long. Everything is clear and logical. It's an unfamiliar feeling.
He's been driving for hours, waiting for something that looks like the silhouette of his car when he hits a fork in the road and sighs. His legs ache for a stretch anyway.
The driver's side door pops open with a creak, belying the newness of the car, and Castiel runs his legs out onto the gravel shoulder. Midnight blue sky overhead and not another car as far as the eye can see. He leaves the door open and the keys in the ignition, just in case, and steps up a few feet towards the fork in the road. With a thumb he opens the top button of his shirt and tugs out the chain hanging there, warm from his skin. The angel wing pendant dangles from his finger, twinkling in the glare of the headlights, the last reminder of Rachel and certainly a better one than his final memories of her, beaten and bloody. He'd rather envision her as a delicate silver charm instead of a mangled body anyway.
He groans and scratches the back of his neck, ruffling the short hairs there. So much for his good mood.
He holds the necklace at arm's length and watches it swing in a lazy circle, swirling and spinning until he's just about hypnotized. Maybe a little dizzy too. Slowly the circle shrinks, back and forth, back and forth, turning the necklace into a tiny pendulum that points him onward. Castiel looks down the fork to the left, palming the necklace, before hopping back into the car and taking off.
He's getting close.
When he finally spots his car abandoned in a field, Castiel almost drives off the road. And into a ditch. For a moment he forgets how to drive all together, how to press the brake pedal, because the back end of his car is kissing a tree, the metal twisted and crumpled in on itself. Like a beer can crushed against an idiot's forehead. The trunk hangs agape like it can't believe what's happened to it but the sigil is still there, bright white paint fairly gleaming in the moonlight. Completely useless now. Castiel doesn't need to get closer to know the Colt is gone. Probably anything else he had of value too.
Then he nearly rams a sturdy looking oak with the stolen car he's supposed to be driving. He slams on the brakes just before he coasts into an accident and flies out the door and over to his car as if he's sprouted wings. Hands rifle through the supplies in his trunk, searching, even though he knows he won't find what he's looking for. When Castiel's knuckles brush the worn upholstery at the bottom of the trunk, he growls.
It seems like an appropriate time to yell something loud and profane. Or to scream the demon's name—Dean!—at the sky. These are the kinds of things that happen in the movies Gabriel watches in between jobs, forcing Castiel to sit with him until all hours of the night if he can't come up with a quick enough excuse. Castiel's never understood why he does it. They're not brothers, not related by anything but a common goal, and Castiel makes no secret of the fact he dislikes the movies. But, appropriate or not, on this night Castiel stands in the field beside his misused car and frowns in silence. It would be a waste of breath and energy to yell. He has better uses for that energy.
Instead, he rearranges the contents of his trunk and slams it shut. Or tries. The demon has made that impossible. Castiel tries a second time with no more success and finally bungees it closed to keep it from flapping while he drives into the nearest town.
By the time he gets there, Castiel has moved from quietly seething to visibly livid. It doesn't help when his phone rings in his pocket again.
"Yes?" Castiel snaps into the phone.
"Whoa!" says Gabriel and Castiel can picture the stunned look on his face. "What got your knickers in a knot?"
"What do you need?" Castiel glides into a parking space at the first motel he sees and take another moment to eye the bouncing lid of his trunk in the rear view mirror. He's gonna enjoy getting his hands on that demon.
"Please tell me you're not still chasing demon tail," Gabriel says, obviously unwilling to be the first to answer a question properly.
Castiel sighs. This could go on all night. "What is it that you need, Gabriel?" he asks in a more controlled tone.
"You been drinking?" Gabriel asks.
"No. I haven't."
"Maybe you should start. Forgot how pissy you are sober," Gabriel says with a smirk in his voice. Then there's a click as his ubiquitous sucker hits his teeth. "Anyway, where are you?"
"I'm not interested in any haunted houses right now," Castiel interrupts, rubbing a hand over his eyes. At the moment he's only interested in sleep. And getting payback for his ruined trunk.
"Nah," Gabriel says. "We're off ghost duty. Looking for some demons. Oughta be right up your alley."
Castiel drops his head to the steering wheel and closes his eyes. Something tells him this is not a conversation he can back out of. "Tell me more," he says because he knows Gabriel was going to anyway.
The phone stays pressed to Castiel's ear while he checks in and drags his bags to his new motel room. Gabriel never stops talking, not even when Castiel almost drops the phone trying to juggle his bags so he can unlock the door. Gabriel is still talking while Castiel lays down salt lines along the windows and lights a smudge to purify the room. He doesn't require more from Castiel than an available ear and the occasional grunt of acknowledgment to verify he's still listening with that ear. Despite himself, Castiel ends up paying attention.
"And this is happening where?" Castiel asks, dragging the motel paper closer to him with a finger while he switches the phone to his other ear. He roots around until he finds a pen, writing down the information so he won't forget it by the morning. Not even curiosity could compel him to call Gabriel back if he didn't have to.
"But don't head out there yet," Gabriel finishes hastily. "We need some prep first. This thing is big, whatever it is. Which is why I'm calling. We need stuff."
"And here I thought you really cared," Castiel deadpans before he can catch himself.
Gabriel is just as surprised.
"Was that… a joke?" he asks as if he's afraid it might be true.
"I suppose it was," Castiel says.
Then Gabriel shrugs, brushing the phone with a rush like crashing waves, and starts worrying the sucker in his mouth again. Click, click. "Maybe hanging out with a demon is good for you." He crunches down on the hard candy and brushes the phone with another shrug. "Anyway, how 'bout we meet halfway? We can head out east together from there."
"Whatever you think is best," Castiel says because he's heading east one way or another. Gabriel's news has him intrigued.
"Well okay then." Gabriel makes a half assed attempt at pleasantries before they hang up with an awkward goodbye and a plan to meet up in two days.
Castiel sets his phone aside and can't quite contain the smile that curls his lips. For once, a phone call from Gabriel has improved his mood. Will wonders never cease?
It takes Castiel two hours to get everything arranged in his room. Most hunters travel light but Castiel isn't most hunters. He's a traveling library at the best of times. Lately he's a library and a well stocked supply cabinet. He can thank the apocalypse for that one, too, but he'd rather not.
If only he'd had time to find another abandoned house to squat in.
Castiel stands back to admire his handiwork. The devil's trap chalked onto the linoleum tile is sadly temporary. Paint would have been better but he doesn't want anyone remembering him too well when he leaves this place. So chalk it is. Then he settles into a chair, puts his feet up on the table, and starts mixing up a summoning spell. He hums a little as he does it, can't remember the name of the song or where he's heard it, but it takes his mind off how stupid he's about to be. As an afterthought, Castiel pours himself a few fingers of whiskey to calm the nerves he didn't even know he had. That's about all the stalling he can manage.
Then, match lit, it's too late to regret anything. The summoning spell flares up with a hiss and the stench of sulfur. When the smoke clears a second later, the demon is there.
Castiel takes a moment to check him over. The body is the same as last time. Tall and dense with muscle, close cropped brown hair, and barely there freckles that make him look more innocent than he is. Dean.
"Son of a bitch!" Dean's eyes go black in anger and he throws himself at the invisible wall of the devil's trap though he knows he won't make it through. His nostrils flare. He stills at the edge of the trap, already plotting. Castiel can't help thinking he looks like a bull in a cartoon, snorting so furiously.
"Hello, Dean," Castiel says. He sets the bowl from the spell aside, calmly clearing away the leftover ingredients and stowing them in a bag.
"Devil's trap? Again?"
Castiel raises an eyebrow, not quite sure what the question is supposed to be. "Yes," he says finally.
Dean stares at him before his head finally drops. When he looks up again there's a wicked gleam in his eyes. Green, Castiel can see now that there's proper light. "You know, if you wanted to tie me up you could just use rope," he says.
"I'll keep that in mind."
Dean is silent for a moment before he chuckles, head cocked to one side, looking Castiel up and down. Then he mutters, "Kinky bastard," under his breath. "What do you want?" he asks a little louder. He folds his arms over his chest. "I already got rid of the Colt, if that's what you're after."
Castiel nods. He figured as much but he can find it again. He's already done it once before.
"So… what do you want?" Dean says. "The staring is getting creepy."
"I'm glad," Castiel says, "that you kept that body."
"I like it. Quite a bit," Castiel says quietly. Then he shakes himself, blinking in a flurry, and goes back to rummaging through his bag, replacing the summoning spell with a thin, leather bound book and another glass.
Dean watches every movement with a critical eye, prowling the edge of the devil's trap. "Reading me a bedtime story?"
"In a manner of speaking," Castiel says. There's a snick as he strikes another match and starts lighting candles, arranging them around the cleared table.
Dean raises an eyebrow, eyes following the flames. "Aw, how romantic. Next you'll be pouring rose petals on the bed and asking me to marry you, right?"
Castiel looks up at him in surprise. "No."
"It was a joke."
"Oh." Castiel pulls the bottle of whiskey to him, spilling some into his glass. He glances at Dean again before pouring a second glass. He holds it out to Dean. "There's no holy water in it this time," he says.
"No, I trust you completely," Dean snaps but he takes it anyways, glaring for all he's worth. Then he dips the tip of a finger into the brown liquid, gingerly. Nothing happens so he takes a careful sip of the whiskey, rolling it around his tongue a moment before he swallows it down. "No holy water," Dean agrees, downing the rest of his glass in one gulp that makes his Adam's apple bob.
Without a word, Castiel holds out the bottle to Dean, tilting it into the trap so he can reach it. Dean moves quicker to take it this time.
"What is this?" Dean says.
"No. This. The liquor and the candles and the talking. I'm not your girlfriend, Cas."
"I'm aware of that," Castiel says.
"So what is this?" Dean raises an eyebrow before looking away to pour another glass.
"A spell," Castiel says, producing a knife as if out of thin air, slicing across Dean's wrist. He snatches up an empty glass to catch the dripping blood before Dean even has time to react.
"What the hell, man?" Dean cries, blood running down his forearm and splattering the floor while he figures out what to do with the bottle of whiskey. Finally he sets it down beside him, out of the way but within easy reach.
"It's a shallow cut," Castiel says, tossing him a gauze pad from the bag beside him. "It should stop bleeding soon." He hovers over the table, dropping herbs and assorted odds and ends into a bowl, all the while muttering to himself.
Dean nudges a toe against the edge of the circle, smudging at the chalk lines. He takes a swallow of whiskey before he speaks again. "Remind me not to take a drink from you," he mutters. "It's always a trick."
"Generally, yes," Castiel says without looking up from the bowl where he's pulverizing his mixture of herbs. Then he takes up the knife and slashes his palm, letting the blood fall into the bowl. He nods.
Dean just stares, forgetting the devil's trap around him in his curiosity. "You're some kinda crazy, aren't you?" he says quietly.
Castiel ignores him, lighting the blood and herbs with another match from his pack. The bowl flickers with sluggish flame and the room fills with a smell like incense. Not entirely unpleasant. Then the flames are doused with the glass of Dean's blood and Castiel turns away, taking everything with him. When he turns around again the bowl of herbs is gone but his hand is still sluggishly bleeding, smearing red all over everything he touches. The devil's trap is also completely useless. Smudged in a great white streak with Dean standing just outside it. He tosses back the last of the whiskey in his glass and smiles.
"Sloppy, Cas. Pretty sloppy there."
Castiel looks deep into his eyes, so deep that it's strangely unnerving. From a human.
Dean closes the gap between them in an instant, pulling Castiel forward by his shirt. "I'm gonna enjoy killing you."
Castiel just cocks his head to one side. "You'll have to get in line then." He smiles and there's something unsettling about that too. "Now let go."
Dean's hands spring free as if of their own accord and he can't help but stare at them. He clenches and unclenches his fists. Everything seems to be in working order. "What was that?"
"A spell," Castiel says. "I told you."
"What. The fuck. Did you do to me?" Dean says, looking between Castiel and his hands. "Why am I not strangling you?"
"Because you're mine now," Castiel says with a strange gleam in his eye.
Dean forces a little chuckle and glares. "Yeah. That's funny. Now fix it."
"I will pull out your intestines and hang you with them."
Castiel just shakes his head. Calm as ever.
Dean clenches his fists and growls. Glaring at Castiel is like having a staring contest with a rock. "I'm keeping the whiskey," he says before snatching up the bottle and taking another swig.
"Consider it an offering," Castiel says, mouth quirking up at one corner.
Dean hates that quirk already. "It's a trick is what it is. This ain't over."
"I wouldn't expect it to be," Castiel says. "And, Dean," he adds, "make sure you keep that body."
Dean pauses in his attempt at storming out and makes a face, half sneer, half exasperation. "Don't tell me what to do." He stomps the rest of the way to the door and throws it open. "And don't summon me again."
The door slams so hard it pops open again, swinging slowly inward.
"You could have stayed," Castiel tells the now empty doorway.
Author's Note: Hello and welcome back to our crazy AU show. Assuming you read Deadly Sins anyway. If you didn't, then "hello for the first time!"
As you've probably noticed, this story is set during the Apocalypse but the circumstances are vastly different from Supernatural canon. We'll explain more later if you care to stick around. I also feel like I should warn (again) that the rating on this story will undoubtedly go up to M in the coming chapters. Until then we'll leave it at a nice moderate T. But you've been warned. It's going to be M and it's going to be Destiel.
Also, since you're getting in on the ground floor here, if there's anyone or anything you're dying to see, let me know. I'll see if I can work it in along the way. This story could go on for a while.