Author's Note: Alright. So this is a oneshot, but if you guys prompt me for more, drop suggestions, or requests, I may write some more in this AU era. If'n you like.
POV starts off as first person narration, then switches to normal third person.
Let me tell you about the future.
You wouldn't think life as we know it could fall to the toilet in five short years. I s'ppose the toilet is being generous, come to think of it. In that time, humans figured out about the creepies and the crawlies, about angels and demons duking it out, and somewhere decided it'd be a good idea to wage their own war against the whole lot of them.
The years haven't felt short at all.
Whole world went to shit when that fanatic moron Raphael decided to jumpstart Armageddon again. Threw in with Crowley, which is ten kinds of crazy, but desperate times I guess. Well, people got wind of it and decided like hell Earth was gonna get stomped on by a bunch of bastards fightin' some ancient war. They didn't realize that not every featherbrain and scum-sucking demon shared the same outlook as the traditionalists.
Raphael ran for the hills when shit went south, got ganked somewhere outside of Jerusalem, I hear. Every telling's different. Some say it was Beliz, some say the poor bastard didn't even make it out of the country. Crowley went underground, no surprise. I'm sure he's still kickin' somewhere, crawling around in the pipes. Wouldn't surprise me to know he built himself a mansion down in the sewers of Italy or some such. Gabriel is still missing, but when's he not? Zachariah's crew, as with many others, are all gone.
It's been a damn genocide of Heaven and Hell, perpetuated by the humans they fought to protect and destroy. Somehow people got to forging bullets outta angel blades and magic demon knives. There are about seven Colts in existence now.
Michael's dead. It took years, but they finally got him. Lucifer was in the Cage for awhile—something I think the son of a bitch was thankful for, as it seemed the only safe place in the dimension these days. But they finally broke him out and now he's toast, too.
Funny. You'd think a lot of us would be grateful for that. Nobody's been mailing any fruit baskets out, though, near as I can tell.
The Alphas were wiped out a couple years back. Anything besides angels and demons are extinct by this point. The old biblicals are on what we like to refer to as the endangered species list. Matter of time before they're gone too, I suppose. Safe bet in a losing world.
You see, we humans are smart, given the right motivation.
Nights like this, I ask myself—what the hell happened? Isn't this what we wanted? A world free of monsters? I guess we wanted it to go all smooth and peaceful-like. Not at the expense of our morality, of our humanity. You see, in the time of the New Rebellion, we'll turn on our own kind in a heartbeat. There's a group called the Purifiers what started all this; they don't only go for the inhuman, but they'll happily wipe out a town of friendlies, too. That's humans who are lookin' out for the supernaturals. Most of us, like myself, need protection just as much as them. Nothin' like hidin' out like a damn animal, trying to evade the morons you've been protecting for the past thirty years.
Some supernaturals try to help out. But with the whole of Heaven being summoned and put down, there aren't a lot of allies to go around. Some find vessels—a feat nearly impossible now—and they'll stay on the run until the trumpets are gonna sing. Others tear out their grace and Fall, because that's the only smart thing to do these days. Demons either scatter, or they try their luck at hive mentality. But Black Eyes aren't too keen on teamwork, and most cases they wind up just turning on each other.
Some demons and angels work together, if you can believe it. (I'm looking at you, Feathers. Cold day in Hell when Balki Bartokomous starts chasing pretty little demon tail.) Survival instincts kick in, everyone starts to look the same. And frankly, it's been a cold day in Hell for awhile now.
You see, the humans have been swipin' DNA from the boys for going on years now. They haven't quite figured out how to straight clone 'em yet, but I'm sure that's just down the road. So you've got juiced up hunters runnin' around with Winchester blood all over the damn place. Everybody has a touch of stolen destiny these days. Stronger, smarter, faster, meaner. The first of the swipers make up the Purifiers—they're what started this whole thing. Bastards.
Initially, they took out the really evil sons a bitches, and everyone was ready to start up the parade. Then things took a turn, and what you see now is how it all ended up.
These days, everybody's runnin' scared. Like the end of the world all over again. Ain't no currency, just traders and thieves. Nothing but dark times and darker motives. Makes a fella sick to have to watch children grow up in this place. Jody Mills runs an orphanage now just outside of Sioux Falls—no country for sheriffs anymore. I'd like to visit, but any ally to the supernaturals makes enemies real fast and there's no sense puttin' her or the little ones in danger.
I haven't heard from Rufus in what feels like forever. Lot of hunters either joined with the Purifiers or disappeared themselves right after the New Rebellion. Garth was among the runaways—for a hunter, he sure had an aversion to violence and real confrontation.
The boys… well, there's not a whole lot to say about the boys. Almost a year ago today, it's been nothing but radio silence. Fell off the face of the earth, best we can figure. Don't know what happened to them, but whatever it was, it sure couldn't have been good. Part of me thinks they're still alive. Part of me hopes.
A part of me knows that those two idgits wouldn't go down without one helluva fight. Something like that, news would get around fast.
If you're out there, boys… keep your heads down, shoot sure, and annihilate anything that comes at ya with a needle or chains. Be smart and don't worry about an old rotgut like me. I got ways of staying low. Sources, and the like. Somehow I happened to pick up another stray, which I swore I'd never do again. What is it about orphaned sons with sad eyes and hunching shoulders that I seem to draw in like flypaper?
At least he zaps me fresh booze every other week from God-knows-where. Hard to even find good liquor nowadays. He's saved my ass more than once, since before this global dog's breakfast even started up. He's useful, and not bad company. Still, he doesn't say a whole lot. Sometimes that's just fine. Other times, it sets me to worrying. Like raising you two clowns all over again.
Easy to forget that's his family gettin' slaughtered out there. I remember hearing about this angel Balthazar dying at the hands of those Purifier numbskulls. Cas didn't talk for days.
Aw, hell. What's the point of even keepin' up this journal?
I've built too many damn safe houses and panic rooms these past couple years. Wherever you are, boys, forget everything I just said and bring those guns blazin' to take every one of these dumb sons a bitches out. The world needs Sam and Dean. It needs the Winchesters.
The real Winchesters.
And to all you so-called Purifiers out there? Karma's a bitch with a mean ass backhand. I'd be watching your backs. End of the day, you might find something chewin' on it.
The Purifier leader pivoted to acknowledge his crew member. "You have something?"
Around them, perimeter checks and safety sweeps circulated. There were fires needing to be put out, fences to rebuild. It was just after midnight, the dark sky rendered opaque with mist and humidity. The moon struggled to appear through the cloudbanks, with no success. Searchlights forced the abandoned district into muggy, dispassionate illumination. City blocks looked like rows of open penitentiaries on constant guard duty. It left many civilian inhabitants with a cold feeling.
"They've got one trapped over on thirty-second street, by the factories."
Maki was already on the move, hoofing it up the small incline in a rush. The first stirrings of adrenaline worked their way into his bloodstream, merging with the borrowed DNA already fused to his system. Unlike most other New Rebellion hunters, he carried the genetics of both originals. The blood of the demon heir, the blood of the righteous man. It was a fact he was especially proud of. "Wings or horns?" he asked curtly, as he and Donovan picked up the pace.
"Holy fire seemed to work."
Maki's grin was repellently smug. "Let's see if we can't bag us an angel."
Inside the abandoned factory, more Purifiers stood crowded in a circle around a blistering ring of fire. Sweat and heat filled the open room, making the air pungent with soot, robbing it of any clean oxygen. The Purifiers held their weapons tight to their sash-adorned chests, bearing the white mark proudly. Most of the men were large and imposing; ex-cons, mercenaries, military. Others were simply civilians turned hunters, or those who had already grew up in the life. All had been schooled in the lore and combat-training necessary for pursuing the ancient creatures they'd declared open season on.
Inside the circle were harsh shadows and bursts of amber color, flames rolling tepidly. It was a contrast to the obvious danger posed. One man, dressed in worn layers of clothing, was trapped inside. Old boots, military jacket, cargo pants, armor-link fingerless gloves. Everything about the figure was swathed in shadows, except for the too-blue eyes staring through the dark, alternatively illuminated by the fire.
The trapped celestial said nothing. Maki watched him with poorly veiled satisfaction. "How'd you find it?"
Donovan stepped up, handing his leader a ratty old duffel. "We think it was here to do a ritual. Place is relatively secluded, deserted." Maki examined the contents briefly, raising an eyebrow in question. "Summoning spell was intended to call for a demon."
"What would an angel want with a demon?" another Purifier wondered.
"Beats the hell outta me, Aimes." To Donovan again, Maki asked, "Did the ritual name any demon specifically?"
Maki snorted. "That demon bitch. We fried her months ago."
A few Purifiers chuckled at that.
The angel spoke up for the first time. "Her name was Meg, human."
The voice was a hoarse growl, serrated like the edge of a knife. More than anything, there was pain and anger buried within the words. The laughter died down, and Maki turned his attention back on the angel. The vessel it had chosen was tall, dark-haired, and scruffy. It looked rough, like it hadn't had a decent night's sleep in months, if angel's even slept. The overall haggard appearance spoke of life on the run, in constant battle. Now, they had it cornered. Maki smirked. "Which one are you, cloudhead?"
The men exchanged silent glances, weighing the name. It was one of the lore specialists who eventually filled the group in. "It's just the angel of Thursday," said Lockley. "He's nobody."
Maki nodded. Not even an archangel then, just a young foot soldier—hardly any sport in that. "Well, this was an education. Angels screwing demons, unsecured sectors, supper by seven. Let's waste this sorry excuse of a living creature and finish the rounds."
"I'm afraid you won't actually be making it home for dinner," said the trapped being, still wreathed in fire. "Just one critical mistake in your judgment."
The air grew suddenly thick. Maki raised his eyebrows, and the men shared another amused round of grunts. "Oh? And what mistake would that be?"
Icy eyes flashed from behind errant locks of dark hair. "Thinking I had no desire to be caught."
Before the men could even bring their weapons to bear, a gloved hand shot out and called forth a slew of nearby rebars. They crashed into the humans, impaling several whose screams became the soundtrack of panic. A crate was next. The man closest to it leapt away to avoid being crushed and, in doing so, stepped too close to the fire ring. Castiel locked an arm around his throat and yanked him across, drawing a pistol from the man's waist. Two shots fired purposefully into the emergency fire alarm case and, within seconds, the sprinklers above all their heads activated.
The angel's struggling prisoner silenced with a snap of the neck and Castiel cast him onto the withering flames. Free, he approached a retreating man, raising the pilfered gun to eye level before releasing the mag. It went skidding across the wet floor. Donovan gasped when the metallic ring of holy steel pierced his eardrums and within seconds he was staring down an angel blade.
"This is what your bullets are made out of," Castiel snarled, putting the weapon to use. Blades of his fallen brothers and sisters became artillery to the humans. It made him furious.
Gunfire filled the abandoned factory, reverberating off the walls. Four men were down within mere moments, soggy corpses left like stepping stones. It took the deaths of three more before he was able to reach the Purifier leader. Avenging dead family members was not why he was here, after all.
Castiel seized Maki up by the throat and lifted him a good six inches into the air. Maki fired off a couple shots that went wild and the angel quickly disarmed him, breaking a few bones in the process. The human's agonized scream went unheeded.
"That blood running through your veins doesn't belong to you," growled Castiel. "Where are they?"
Maki squirmed in desperation, fear and pain clouding his eyes. "Who?!"
Castiel tightened his grip.
"You call them Rifle, One and Two. We call them Dean and Sam. Where are they?"
Maki knew his struggle was futile, but refused to show anything but steely, hateful resolve. "You think I'm going to tell you anything, you feathery piece of shit?"
The blue of the angel's eyes darkened into a vengeful cobalt. In the light of the passing searchlights outside, two large wings were outlined against the wall with every pass. They unfurled menacingly. "I don't think you do know who I am." Darkly, Castiel went on. "Let me enlighten you."
Maki felt an invisible mass crushing against him from every angle. The angel's eyes burned into him like a brand, grace pouring through unchecked—so much that it grew almost impossible to look at him. Outside, the roll of thunder presaged horrible suffering to come. Bulbs all around them began popping one by one overhead, cascading sparks that fell and sizzled out in the sprinkler's rain.
"I'm the one crushing your windpipe. The one who could scatter your pieces across the galaxy with a thought. I am an angel of the Lord, raiser of damned souls, warrior of Heaven, and I don't think you know half the things I am capable of. Nor what I have done." He gave Maki a firm shake. "The Winchesters are my charges. My responsibility. They are my friends, and you will tell me where they are or I will make good on every threat and you will be begging for death long before I deliver it. I don't give a single damn if I prove you right about my kind, Purifier. I will ask you one more time, and then there won't be any more questions."
Maki did his best to swallow down the lump in his throat. "Kansas. We have them in Kansas."
The obvious answer.
If possible, Castiel grew even angrier. That anger was lined with disgust. "Angels can tell when you're lying."
A sudden, harsh burst of light erupted where Maki's skin touched the angel's hand. The human screamed loud and sharp as the eyes were burned out of his skull. Castiel released the singed corpse, a muscle clenching in his jaw. For awhile, he stood in silent deliberation. This fruitless venture was just another among the many, each one more discouraging than the last.
"You're… you're the Fallen one," a trepid voice spoke up from the corner. Castiel turned his head to see the lore specialist, Lockley, huddled on the floor against the wall, cradling a severely broken arm. The angel said nothing. "Aren't you? You… you rose higher than Michael and fell further than Lucifer. You were to be the next devil—to bring about the end should the first fail. You were half of the gemini, reflection to the Morning Star. Cro-od-zi. Olani esiasch. Hebrew scripture called you shtáyim."
Castiel considered the human with weary eyes, the light gone from them. His face was an echo of what it used to be, the power he once had now suddenly nowhere to be found. "No," he said, with apathy, as he turned away. "I'm just the angel of Thursday."
Lockley watched the angel as he walked away, tucking away his blade and replacing it with one of the discarded shotguns that sported a sawed off barrel. Probably to better blend in. With a sigh of deep relief, Lockley allowed a shudder to pass through him and curled tighter against the wall, to wait for help.
Castiel checked the weapon for shells and, coming up empty, dug a case out of a dead human's utility vest. In the next three strides, he had his cellular phone out and pressed against his ear. He waited until he heard the voice on the other line, only to hesitate then upon wishing he had better news.
"Bobby? I'm afraid I've found nothing."
There was a sigh over the speaker.
"Alright. Come on home, son."
This is the new 2014.
Author's Notes: Review whore. I need it like cake. Like jamba juice. I stick my straw in them, and I suck them up.