Spoilers: For Avengers movie (lightly), and SPN up to later season 6.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or The Avengers. Written for fun, not profit.
A/N: "Changing Channels" style fusion with The Avengers. Setting is on the flying aircraft carrier. Things go slightly AU-ish, because, hello, Loki's involved. Written for a prompt by Tara_roo at spn_bigpretzel (LJ).
"From Loki, With Love"
Dean was dreaming. He had to be dreaming, right? Because, he'd been in bed a few seconds ago, numb with post-hunt exhaustion, and then wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he was in a short corridor, big on the metallic décor and so, he was dreaming. Of course.
Only, he'd had his own fair share of strange dreams before, not to mention nightmares, and none of them ever felt quite like this. And he sure as hell had never been dressed like this before…Okay, maybe that one time, he was in hosiery, but that was friggin' trauma induced—thank you, goddamn lederhosen. This—this was spandex, he was pretty sure, or maybe some kind of diving suit material. Nevertheless, it pinched in bad places and fit so tight he might as well have been nude. And, also, the stars and stripes? What. The. Hell?
Dean looked up at the call and perked up at the confirmation. Shit yeah, it was a dream. Because only in dreams did a Scarlett Johansson look-a-like have short red hair and a tight black, front plunging body-suit. He gave her a goofy grin, waiting for the moment to play out.
Instead of giving him a lap dance, like he was hoping for, she stayed where she was, far down the hall, and blinked, as if just then seeing the leer for what it was. She seemed completely surprised by it. "Are you feeling alright, Captain Rogers?"
Rogers? Dean raised a brow, ready to comment on his brain coming up with crappy porn names when a door opened between he and dream-girl. Sam popped his head out, eyes wide in worry. Relief washed over him as soon as he saw Dean.
"Oh, thank God," he breathed. "I was afraid you weren't here."
"Way to ruin it, Sam," Dean muttered. "Even in my head, you're a party pooper."
Sam shook his head, motioning for Dean to shut up, and then gave the woman in black a tight, polite smile. "Uh…if you'll excuse us a moment, Black Widow?" There was a question mark there, as if he weren't quite sure the name were on the mark. "I need to talk to the…uh…Captain in private."
Sam reached out, grabbing Dean by one arm and yanking him into the room. He slammed the door shut behind them, taking a calming breath before rounding on his brother. "Dean. You're not dreaming."
As if to prove his point, he reached out and pinched Dean's arm.
"Ouch!" Dean batted him away. Then his eyes widened. "Oh, crap."
"This shit only happens to us," Dean snapped, throwing an accusing finger at the universe in general. "If this isn't a dream, where are we, Sam? Cause, it looks kinda military…And did you call that chick outside 'Black Widow'?"
Sam grimaced, throwing an arm out to gesture at the room. Dean gave it a once-over. It appeared to be a lab of some sort, but Dean knew shit-all about science, so he wasn't sure what all the equipment was supposed to be used for.
"I woke up in here a few minutes ago and thought it was a dream, too. Then I pricked my finger and figured out it wasn't… But I think I have an idea as to what's going on. I started looking through the research in here and noticed some familiar names on the files—" He paused, shaking his head slightly as his eyes came back to Dean. Or more specifically, Dean's clothes. "And your outfit pretty much confirms my theory."
Dean frowned in disgust, rolling his palm over the star on his chest as if he could hide it. "It's friggin' hideous—what am I supposed to be, American Propaganda Boy? Christ—I look like Captain—"
Sam raised a brow. "Captain America?"
"No, Dean, you don't just look like Captain America." Sam hesitated, scratching the back of his head. "I hate to break it to you, but you are Captain America. And that woman out there…I'm sure she's Black Widow. You know, like from the comics?"
Dean could feel the heat flooding his face as he attempted to comprehend the words 'from the comics' in a way that made some lick of sense. "What are you supposed to be, Sam? Purple Shirt Man?"
Sam cleared his throat. "Uh, considering the options, and where I woke up, and the fact that my name is on that research… Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm Dr. Bruce Banner."
Dean made a face. "You're…the Hulk?"
Sam sighed. "Which is why I've been trying to not get too worked up over this situation..."
"Up to our elbows, sans boat or paddle," Sam confirmed. "If I didn't know better, I'd say this was the work of—"
The door opened, drawing their eyes. They both smiled slightly, trying for innocent and looking more like two seven-year-old boys with their hands in the cookie jar. Their attempted smiles wavered a bit when they realized that Black Widow had returned with friends.
Dean's jaw dropped when he took in the first guy, a ripped blond, and the second, an extremely familiar face—and he'd seen the first movie with Ben, so he sure as hell knew what role the guy was playing. "It's friggin' Thor and Iron Man!" Lowering his voice, Dean grabbed Sam by the sleeve and yanked him down to whisper, in a slightly giddy voice, "Dude, we're the Avengers!"
Which maybe wasn't the way he was supposed to react, because the three newcomers stopped in their tracks and shared a baffled expression.
"Uh, yeah, I see what you mean," Tony said, and Black Widow nodded in confirmation.
"I think you are right—this looks to be my brother's doing," Thor said. "How is it that Loki can affect them so when he is imprisoned?"
Dean took an unconscious step forward. "Did you just say Loki?" he hissed. "Loki's here?"
He and Sam stared at each other, holding a silent conversation while the other three tensed, as if preparing for a fight.
"This seems like something he'd do," Sam agreed, frowning.
"But, he's dead—right?" Dean shook his head, pissed, and then darted his eyes toward the ceiling. "What am I saying? It's not like anyone ever stays dead these days...Gabriel, you dick, get your feathered ass here, now!"
Tony raised a brow. "Because that's not crazy at all—"
The words froze on his lips. In fact, his entire body froze in place, Black Widow and Thor paused beside him in a similar state.
A loud huff had Sam and Dean spinning on their heels.
A strange man stood behind them, black, shoulder-length hair slicked back and a heavy long coat brushing his calves. The whole black, green, gold motif gave off an ominous vibe, and Dean and Sam took an automatic step away from him, looking for weapons. The man only lowered his head and smiled, a slimy, mischievous expression that chilled them to the core. Then he chuckled and his face rippled, transforming into one that was somewhat more familiar.
Sam's nostrils flared. "Gabriel," he bit.
The angel rolled his eyes. "Watch your blood pressure there, you big ape. Wouldn't want this to lead to any shirt ripping, would you?"
Gabriel's eyes came back to Dean as he took in the announcement. "And whose fault is that?" he chided. He shook his head, as if brushing off his deceased state. "Yeah, I'm dead, kiddos. Sucks to be me. This is merely a reflection of my essence, blahblah, trickster, blah. Think of me as a pre-recording, if you will."
Sam took a calming breath. "Explain. Now."
Gabriel sighed. "Fine, fine—ruin all the fun." He gave the pair a grim grin. "If you're here, it means you saved the world, at least for the moment. I honestly didn't think you'd get this far…but, just in case you did, I put in a failsafe. See, I figured you might have a problem with a couple of my more zealous brothers, even if you stopped Lucy and Mikey."
Dean nodded. "Raphael—"
Gabriel snorted, interrupting him. "No surprise there. So, as I was saying, I anticipated a not-so-smooth finish, and I figured you knuckleheads wouldn't plan for it."
"That doesn't explain why we're comic book characters," Sam noted.
"Movie characters at the moment, dufus." Gabriel leaned over onto the work counter. "You're in a movie that hasn't been created yet—or, more specifically, you're in dimension that's just now forming. But that whole perception/reality bag is a bit too theoretical for your ape brains, so we'll skip the details... You see, children, sometimes fiction is based on fact. There's a device, a weapon of heaven with some pretty wicked powers that I hid long ago, just in case I ever needed it. It's not enough to stop an Apocalypse, mind you…but it's enough to boost an angel from his place of power. Sound like something you might be interested in?"
Dean raised a brow. "Okay, I'll bite. What is it?"
"Here," Gabriel gestured out at the world around them, "it's called the Tesseract, AKA the Cosmic Cube, AKA the Astrid Alauda, AKA the Plot Device in several movies you blockheads have been, and will be, too busy to watch..."
"Wait—" Sam threw up a hand to stop him. "Let me get this straight…You hid one of Heaven's weapons inside a movie that hasn't been made yet…And now we're playing the parts of the characters so that we can get to the weapon?"
"Give the puppy a biscuit." Gabriel clapped once, excited. "Think of it as a labyrinth in a temporary dimension. You solve it, you get the prize at the end and return back to your world, Tesseract in tow. Of course, the tricky part was making sure that the dimension stayed active until you needed it—the prophet Whedon has always been able to help with altering alternate dimensions, so I made sure he…" He noticed the brothers' lost expression and waved it off. "Nevermind. Simple answer: yes. Now, play your parts and embrace your inner heroes, already."
Dean shook his head. "Why now? Why didn't this 'failsafe' of yours go off earlier?"
Gabriel shrugged. "It was set to activate when one of you asked for this specific aid. You two been praying lately?" At their confused expression, he smirked. "Must have been my little brother, then…You two should check up on Castiel. It's never a good thing when an angel is having a crisis. Now—" his grin widened "—let's get this action-movie rolling! We've been here before, so you know the rules. Play the role, don't die, while I sit back and enjoy some popcorn."
Sam's voice was low when it returned. "You're dead and you're still playing games with our lives?"
Dean slowly glanced over at his brother, his eyes widening at the grumbling growl that followed the statement. "Uh, Sammy, you look kinda pissed, man."
Gabriel cocked his head. "See why I made him Banner? Kid still hasn't worked out those anger issues completely. Bet he covers it with Mr. Sunshine and Daisies these days, am I right?"
Sam's arm shot out, his fingers wrapping around Gabriel's throat. Dean watched his brother's muscles ripple, his skin taking on a green hue. "Sam…angry…" he growled, squeezing.
Gabriel squeaked, eyes widened in panic. "This isn't…" he gasped "…supposed to happen…" His feet were lifted off the floor. "...Until later in the…movie…"
Dean smiled, taking a quick, cautious step to the side. "Yeah. Well, Gabriel…Loki…whatever the hell you are now—you might not remember this, on account of being dead and all, but me and Sammy, we don't like to play roles. And, Sammy…well, Sammy really doesn't like it when angels manipulate him, even if they have good intentions." He patted Sam's back, just as the muscles tripled in size, tearing his shirt to shreds. "Have fun releasing that aggression, dude."
Gabriel grimaced. "Crap."