Hey, how long has it been since I posted a story? I'm not even sure, let's not talk about it.
I'm back with a slightly odd crossover but I loved the Young Wizards books when I was younger (still do) so I had to write this.
The spell-work done, Benny stood back to admire his work. "There you go boys, all ready for you to head on home," he said, pride clear through his drawl.
Dean however wasn't so sure. His eyes followed the detailed lines of the Script, skimming over the details drawn in the dirt and mulch with a sceptical glare though the fact that he still wasn't completely fluent, especially with the more technical terms used in a large-scale piece like this, did hinder him significantly. "You sure about that, Ben?"
There was no answer and Dean looked up to see Benny glaring at him, deadpan. Dean raised his hands in defence, "Hey man, I'm just making sure. It's a nice piece of work you got here, I just wanna make sure me or Cas aren't gonna end up back on earth missing some vital bits."
"It's fine, Dean." Castiel's voice came as a bit of a surprise. In the month's they'd been trapped down here in the perpetual dark of the forest the angel had grown more and more quiet as the days went by. "I've checked over his work. It is per our agreement." The last bit was said more to Benny than to him but Dean didn't think much of it at the time.
He clapped his hands once, rubbing them together in anticipation. "Okay then! Let's get this show on the road."
"Check your name, Freak," Benny said as he stepped carefully over the outer line of script. "I just gotta recheck the power management descriptions and we're good to go."
Dean flipped him the bird at the nickname that had stuck way back when they'd first met and the vampire had realized that Dean was a perfectly normal human trapped in a world of monsters. It had irked Dean back when he wasn't so used to being the edible minority but now he had bigger priorities.
His name was written around the edge of his designated circle, cursive letters at odds with the hard life described in the full version of his name required for such a complicated spell. It was a version he rarely used and so he made sure to check it over carefully, noting a few changes since last time but nothing really in disagreement with who he knew himself to be. Some characters seemed to take on a slight glow as he read them over, including the one that meant 'brother', as well as another that he could best translate to 'companion' though he thought he was probably a little off. He'd have to ask Cas about it later. Satisfied, he stepped back.
"You two good over there?"
Castiel looked at him wordlessly from where he and Benny had been muttering to each other, but Benny winked and gave him a thumbs up. "A-okay, Freak." With a small flick of his wrist he tied off the spell circle, a figure-eight wizards knot appearing in the only gap left in the maze of script. "You two get in your circles and we can get the hell outta dodge."
Dean tried not to look like an overeager child at that but likely failed miserably, practically skipping into his circle. Castiel moved much slower, careful not to step on any of the spell work despite the fact that while within the outer circle their shoes left not a single print in the dirt.
"Dude, what's got you so gloomy?" Dean nagged when Castiel was finally in the circle next to him. Because Castiel would be taking on most of the power management, his circle was surrounded with script far beyond Dean's level of fluency. He could however understand the numbers and measurements fitted into the equations and they made him dizzy just looking at them. Dean didn't think he'd ever had anywhere near that kind of power levels, not even when he's still been fresh from his ordeal.
"Man, I hope you do have that kind of juice stored up," Dean muttered, still looking at the work around Castiel's feet. "Otherwise this is gonna roast you." He looked up then, eyes searching and only half joking, to see Castiel watching him oddly, expression unreadable. When Dean met his eyes, he smiled sadly. It struck Dean then that his friend looked exhausted – hell, they all were – and he hoped getting him out of such a dark place would do him good. He never thought he'd say it, but he actually missed the awkward lost angel they used to have, if only because at least that one hadn't completely lost hope.
"I have just enough," Castiel said. "I imagine Sam will be relieved to see you return."
It was a clumsy segue if ever he heard one, but one Dean could roll with. "Are you kidding? He'll be thrilled. That kid hardly knows how to have fun without me there to help him."
Castiel's smile widened marginally but before either of them could speak again Benny interrupted from across the circle. "You two wanna quite gossiping so I can actually get this spell going, maybe?"
"Ready and waiting over here, asshole," Dean snapped back before turning his attention to his small portion of the spell, ready to start reading once it was his turn. Castiel would be fine, he told himself, they all would be as soon as they got out of this god forsaken place. And soon he'd see Sam again.
Taking a breath, Benny began to read, drawing on what Dean had to assume was the vampires' equivalent of the manual. He'd mentioned it once before, when he'd first brought up the spell to take them home, saying the One shared any knowledge they needed and that they felt it in their blood, that it sang to them. Dean had scoffed but kept any comments to himself, remembering vaguely mentions of whales on Earth hearing the One in the ocean. Personally he was fine with his journal, his one inheritance from John, but regretfully out of reach in the forest of monsters. Otherspace pockets didn't work so well in Purgatory.
Unlike back home, magic wasn't welcome here. With Benny's voice the forest did appear to hold its breath but there was a distinct sense of malevolence in the stillness. The air grew thick and smokey and Dean had to hold in a hacking cough, not wanting to disrupt the spell. He had to hand it to Benny for not stumbling over a single syllable though granted, the vampire had been here infinitely longer and was undoubtedly accustomed to the forest's reactions to any evidence of the Powers That Be.
Ten syllables before Dean's segment... five... three... Dean began to read, careful of his pronunciation, knowing better than to rush things when it came to spell-work of this scale. His part wasn't long – the only reason he really had a part was because the spell called for a participant from each of three realms, Heaven, Earth, and a native of Purgatory itself – but as the words left him he felt himself slumping as the energy left with them.
The last lines done, Dean had to hold his breath for a moment to keep from gasping loudly while Castiel smoothly picked up his part. The Speech flowed gracefully from his lips, being the native tongue of angels in the first place, and he never once stumbled even as Dean could see the energy leaving him the more he read. He had to fight the urge to reach out an arm to support the angel, knowing any breach of the circles could be disastrous this far into the reading. The numbers and figures streaming from Castiel's mouth mostly went right over Dean's head, but the bits he did understand had him tensing more and more the further he read. No way could Cas be taking on all that power by himself. He might be an angel but those levels had to be too much even for him to survive. And after the souls, Dean had a healthy fear of Cas handling too much power.
Despite the dangers, Dean made to reach out, to stop Castiel before things got out of hand, but it was too late. The spell had taken a hold and gained a momentum of its own, keeping the participants pinned in their respective circles to be carried along with it. Even if he had wanted to, Dean didn't think Castiel could stop now.
Twenty-three syllables to go and Castiel was speeding through the incantations while the spell rose to a peak where it would inevitably break open. Dean was only afraid it would take his friend with it.
Castiel breathed out the last syllable and collapsed into silence in his circle. For a moment no one moved save for the slight rise and fall of the angel's shoulders.
Cas?! Dean thought as hard as he could at his friend, hoping desperately for the usual reply of 'Yes, Dean' or a simple 'I'm fine'. Before anything else could happen though, the spell exploded.
Hands flew up automatically to shield his eyes from the sudden blinding light in the usually murky forest. His fingers did little to block the glow though and he took a moment to let his eyes adjust before squinting toward the source. It gave off a roaring sound, like blood rushing in his ears, rendering him essentially blind and deaf. The light was a warm electrical white-blue, one that Dean recognized from somewhere though he couldn't quite grasp where that was. Pulling his hands back completely, he forced himself to look directly at the light and when he could make out the source properly he felt his jaw drop.
Freak, get your ass moving! Dean couldn't tell if the order was shouted or thought at him, or maybe both. He could just make out a vaguely Benny-shaped silhouette in the light.
You made a fucking worldgate?! He mentally yelled back, but started towards the figure anyway. Are you fucking suicidal?! He knew now where he recognized the light. In his one and only trip off-planet, when he and Sam had chased a demon all the way to the Crossings, the world devoted to providing worldgate transportation to every race across the sky. The amount of power the things took on there own was phenomenal, but ripping open a brand new one had to be far beyond what any human or angel could handle. And yet Dean knew none had been here before; this place was a prison, there was no need for a door.
On that thought, he stopped, turning back to check that Castiel was following. With a lurch he saw the angel hadn't moved from his circle save to have raised his head to watch Dean. At Dean's stare, he smiled.
Cas, what are you doing? Get a move on! Dean urged. The light from the worldgate was doing weird things to his vision and for a moment he swore he could see the outline of two huge wings hanging limp behind his friend.
Castiel shook his head. I can't, Dean. The spell needed too much power to work. I gave up my grace. He tilted his head slightly, a Castiel approximation of a shrug. I knew what I was doing. At least here I'm already in an afterlife. I go through there and I'll just die anyway.
Cas, you're not going to- But you couldn't lie in the Speech. There's always Timeheart. That's got to be better than this place.
I'm not going to Timeheart after everything I've done, Dean.
Before Dean could reply, a hand gripped his arm roughly and dragged him bodily toward the gate. He had enough presence of mind to think to avoid the edges but he felt like he was in a daze.
Dai'stiho, Dean, came one last thought, heard distantly in Dean's mind, before the worldgate closed and took them with it.